Sheep

The key products of the Western Australian sheep industry are wool, sheepmeat (lamb and mutton) and live sheep. At around 14.2 million sheep, the WA flock turns off approximately 5.7 million sheep and lambs for meat and live export as well as 72 million kilograms of greasy wool (primarily for export markets) annually.

The Merino is the most common breed of sheep in WA, making up 80% of the state's flock. The remainder are ‘British breeds’ or so-called maternal breeds, meat specific breeds such as Dorpers and some breeds for specialty meat and fibre markets.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's current focus is on increasing lamb supply, improving the productivity, welfare and sustainability of sheep production and developing and extending targeted information products and services to generate practice change. In an effort to increase the marking rate of lambs, the department, in collaboration with industry, has developed the More Sheep initiative.

Articles

  • All livestock owners and beekeepers within Western Australia must be registered and their stock identified in accordance with the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Identification and Movement

  • Slender iceplant, Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum, is a small, succulent, winter-growing annual weed, most common in the eastern Wheatbelt.

  • Eperythrozoonosis is a disease in sheep and goats caused by the bacterium mycoplasma ovis (formerly known as eperythrozoon ovis).

  • Mastitis is the term for a bacterial infection of the udder. It is most common in ewes raising multiple lambs or with high milk production.

  • The demand for high value agricultural produce continues to increase and provides great opportunities to Australian agriculture.

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is continuing to monitor and respond to changes in the live export environment which impact the Western Australian sheep industry.

  • In 2004, the Australian wool industry agreed to phase out the practice of mulesing.

  • Globally competitive production systems, multiple trade routes, rising prices and growing demand for lamb from emerging markets bodes well for WA’s sheep industry.

  • Copper is an essential trace element for animals needed for body, bone and wool growth, pigmentation, healthy nerve fibres and white blood cell function.

  • All ruminants (including sheep, cattle and goats) require cobalt in their diet for the synthesis of vitamin B12.

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