Spring is on the way and livestock producers being reminded to ensure they are ready to protect their animals against a range of animal health risks this season.
The onset of warmer weather combined with recent heavy rain fall has created an ideal environment for animal problems to take hold. They can impact on business productivity through stock losses, condemnation, downgrading, trimming at the abattoir and in some instances, death.
Common livestock conditions seen in spring include footrot and flystrike in sheep, worms, red gut, pulpy kidney and grass seeds.
Footrot is highly contagious and can lead to lameness in a flock. Footrot in sheep & goats is a notifiable disease under the Livestock Act. A problem in high rainfall areas of the state, the ideal environmental conditions that can contribute to footrot spread occur from September to November, and later in a wet summer.
Spring is also a key time for producers to ensure their vaccination program is in place, particularly the all-important second vaccination ensuring optimal immunity.
Quotes attributable to Chief Veterinary Officer, Roger Paskin
Good on-farm biosecurity is the first line of defence in protecting the state’s $4.8 billion livestock industry.
Producers should now do everything reasonable to protect the health of their animals. Simple key steps such as good hygiene, vaccinations, monitoring for signs of ill health and seeking professional advice, really do help to contain animal health problems.
The economic loss of one good lamb to a vaccine-preventable disease is approximate to the cost of 500 vaccine doses. A successful vaccination program will ensure the type of vaccine, number and timing of doses and the storage and handling of vaccines is right.
PIRSA delivers many animal health programs that aim to keep South Australian livestock disease free.
If you suspect any form of exotic disease in your animals immediately contact the Emergency Animal Health Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888, a Biosecurity SA Animal Health Officer, or your vet.
For further details visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health