News & Media

Lamb producers help with disease surveillance

Released on

Released on:
Thursday, 1. March 2018 - 8:45

Lamb producers who visit the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development at Wagin Woolorama next month can pick up a free sampling kit and support the State’s biosecurity efforts.

The kit will be provided to producers as part of the department’s surveillance program, monitoring deaths in pre-term and newborn lambs.

Department veterinary officer Anna Erickson said the program was designed to help sheep producers identify the cause of these lamb losses which cost the Australian lamb industry an estimated $540 million annually.

“Many losses in lambing flocks go undiagnosed,” Dr Erickson said. “Producers may not realise there is problem until lamb marking time, but by then it is not possible to get the necessary samples to diagnose the cause of the problem.

“This program is designed to improve our chances of making a full diagnosis.”

Dr Erickson said ongoing surveillance and testing were needed to demonstrate that WA remained free from significant causes of sheep diseases to support the state’s domestic and export markets.

“Samples will be tested for common infectious causes of death and producers will be informed so they can take action to manage the problem and improve their lambing percentage and profitability,” Dr Erickson said.  “Flocks are eligible if they experience three or more losses.” 

Dr Erickson said department veterinarians would be on hand at the department’s display to discuss the program and answer any questions on lamb losses or other livestock health issues, including ovine brucellosis.

“Our veterinarians will also be able to assist with farm biosecurity plans and to provide a farm biosecurity sign to producers who participate in a three-question biosecurity quiz.”

More information about the surveillance scheme is available on the department website or from this short video.

Producers wishing to take advantage of the scheme can contact Dr Anna Erickson on +61 (08) 9881 0211 or contact a private veterinarian.

Sheep 010
Lamb producers attending Wagin Woolorama on 9-10 March will be able to pick up a free sampling kit from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development display.

Media contacts: Lisa Bertram/Jodie Thomson, Media Liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937