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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2014
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2014 47 Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TGFA) Investment by Federal and State Governments and our Tasmanian farmers into irrigation and water schemes has provided a valuable opportunity for sheep producers to finish prime lambs in areas previously recognised as dryland wool producing areas. This trend has seen an increase in lamb production as farmers capitalise on market opportunities, and strong prices, and has made lamb a valuable mainstream enterprise for our Tasmanian farmers. The total volume of Tasmanian lamb exported to an array of markets to date is 2,360 tonnes, up from 1,867 tonnes in 2013. The total number of lambs slaughtered by meat processors in Tasmania in 2008 was 504,600 which increased to 616,000 in 2013. Tasmanian Red Meat Industry Strategy TFGA has hosted a series of workshops with key industry partners to develop a Tasmanian Red Meat Industry Strategy. The vision for the strategy is to establish Tasmania as the most reliable premium source of quality red meat in the world. Given our reputation for producing high quality premium lamb, one of the key themes within the strategy is building year-round supply to maintain the integrity of branded Tasmanian lamb. The strategy framework themes and objectives will be launched to the Tasmanian industry for comment in the next couple of months. Sheep Health Taskforce In late 2013, the Tasmanian OJD taskforce agreed to broaden its scope beyond OJD and consider a broader range of sheep health conditions. The first meeting of the new Sheep Health Taskforce was convened early in 2014. Membership of the group and its terms of reference were agreed to and prioritisation of sheep health issues were discussed. The top four Tasmanian sheep health priorities for the group include: • Priority One: Footrot control • Priority Two: Sarcocystis and Toxoplasmosis • Priority Three: Effective vaccination protocols • Priority Four: Internal parasites and drench resistance It appears that somewhere between 6% and 21% of Tasmanian sheep have Sarco detected in the abattoir. The ongoing monitoring shows Sarco to be one of the most significant causes of carcase condemnation and trimming loss in Tasmanian sheep. An analysis of the DPIPWE animal health laboratory records over the last ten years, which can only provide a brief snapshot of the situation, reveals 107 cases where sheep were tested for Toxoplasmosis. The vast majority of these were cases of abortion, stillbirth and neonatal mortality. Some ewes were tested due to sub- fertility. Of these 63 submissions proved negative for the Toxoplasmosis IFAT test and 44 were positive. This doesn’t mean Toxo was diagnosed as the cause of the problem, just that there was a serological positive. TFGA has discussed potential options for more trial work with SCA and other organisation for both these diseases if funding can be found. A Toxoplasmosis vaccine is registered for use in NZ but not in Australia and MSD Animal Health is keen to work with the Tasmanian sheep industry to assess the market size for vaccine registration. Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease, which is a disease that can be passed to people from animals. TFGA has collaborated with the Sydney University and Tréidlia Biovet Pty Ltd to support their APVMA application for a minor use permit to allow producer access to the ovine footrot strain specific vaccines. We wish to thank SCA, State Farming Organisations, government departments and sheep businesses for providing letters of support to the vaccine manufacturers in Sydney. It is hoped the off-the-shelf vaccines will be available to producers early spring. Biosecurity The Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) Officer for Tasmania, Jess Coad, who is based at the TFGA offices in Launceston, has been busy working with sheep producers to develop regional biosecurity plans. She is assisting a working group to develop a biosecurity plan for the whole of Bruny Island, which will include guidelines for sheep owners. LBN will have an ongoing role in working with key stakeholders and producers to develop biosecurity awareness and resources and will be conducting on-farm biosecurity plan workshops later in the year. Kim Haywood Commodities Policy Advisor, TFGA Our farmers are seeing a buoyant market for prime lambs both locally and through outlets on mainland Australia as well as overseas.
Sheepmeat 2015 2016