Producers can take advantage of a free testing kit from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to help lift next season’s lamb marking rates as well as support access to markets.
Department veterinary officer Anna Erickson said lamb producers were sometimes disappointed to find marking percentages did not match their pregnancy scanning figures, but it was often too late to find the cause by marking time.
“Pre-term and newborn lamb mortalities can impact marking percentages and profits. Producers can use our free testing kit to help them find the cause of the deaths,” Dr Erickson said.
“The kit consists of an esky, sampling containers and information that guides producers on how to take samples when they see pre-term or newborn lamb deaths.
“The samples are frozen and once there are three cases, they can be dropped off to a private vet or department office and sent for testing at the department’s laboratories, free of charge.”
Dr Erickson said by understanding the cause of the issue, producers could determine if a management change was needed to lift the next season’s marking rates.
“Test results are also used to support Western Australia’s animal health status and to help prove the State is free of specific diseases. This means we can continue to maximise our access to markets,” Dr Erickson said.
“Producers can collect the free kits from their local department office or private veterinarian.”
Further information is available on the department’s website at agric.wa.gov.au by searching on ‘lamb surveillance’ or watch the short YouTube video.
Producers wishing to take advantage of the scheme can contact Dr Anna Erickson on +61 (0)8 9881 0211, visit a local department office, or contact a private veterinarian.
Media contacts: Megan Broad/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937