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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2015 2016
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2015-16 39 ANIMAL HEALTH & WELFARE Key Sheepmeat Industry Initiatives: Meat and Livestock Australia Another of the key levy streams and stakeholders for the SCA AHW portfolio is Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (MLA). MLA is a producer-owned, not-for-profit organisation that delivers research, development and marketing services to Australia’s red meat industry. MLA strives to be the recognised leader in delivering world-class research, development and marketing outcomes that benefit Australian cattle, sheep and goat producers. Working in collaboration with the Australian Government and wider red meat industry, MLA’s mission is to deliver value to levy payers by investing in initiatives that contribute to producer profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness. SCA provides the sheepmeat industry oversight for projects undertaken using producer levies held by MLA. MLA delivers animal health and welfare R&D services for Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat producers. Activities involve collaborative R&D, including sheep genetics (Sheep CRC), animal welfare, climate change, live exports (LiveCorp). Key initiatives finalised during the year included the Priority List of Endemic Diseases, NumNuts, and Producer Survey of Animal Husbandry Practices. MLA Priority List of Endemic Diseases (B.AHE.0010) This report provides a systematic review of the most economically damaging endemic diseases and conditions for the Australian red meat industry (cattle, sheep and goats). A number of diseases for cattle, sheep and goats have been identified and were prioritised according to their prevalence, distribution, risk factors and mitigation. The economic cost of each disease as a result of production losses, preventive costs and treatment costs is estimated at the herd and flock level, then extrapolated to a national basis using herd/flock demographics from the 2010- 11 Agricultural Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Information shortfalls and recommendations for further research are also specified. A total of 23 sheep diseases were prioritised based on feedback received from producer, government and industry surveys, followed by discussions between the consultants and MLA. Consequently, this report is an important resource that will guide and prioritise future research, development and extension activities by a variety of stakeholders in the red meat industry. This is a significant tool that will drive policy and project management at SCA. The full report can be accessed at: www. mla.com.au/Research-and-development/ Search-RD-reports/RD-report-details/ Animal-Health-and-Biosecurity/Priority- list-of-endemic-diseases-for-the-red- meat-industries/2895 NumNuts Its name might cause a grin, but the ‘NumNuts’ castration and tail docking tool will play a serious role in providing pain relief during animal husbandry practices. The hand-held tool, which is currently being commercialised and is expected to be for sale in about 18 months’ time, features a single action castration/tail docking ring applicator and injection mechanism which administers the local anaesthetic lignocaine (used by the dental industry) for rapid pain relief. The anaesthetic acts about 30 to 60 seconds after injection and doesn’t wear off for around four hours, by which time the tissue in the testes and tail are dead, eliminating residual pain. In proof-of-concept trials, there was a significant decrease in pain behaviour such as ‘tucked up’ posture, bleating and lying down. Producer survey of animal husbandry practices A survey was conducted in 2009-10 to measure the use by sheep and cattle producers of various animal husbandry practices. Since then the cattle and sheep husbandry guides, the revised ‘fit to load’ guide and ‘describing and managing beef cattle in low body condition’ have been released. This repeat survey will assess the uptake of practices and identify some of the drivers of these changes. The red meat industry needs quantitative benchmarks of practice or indicators to show the status quo and to demonstrate improvement over time. The analysis and comparison of the two survey results will identify practice changes and the factors driving them. It will also help identify the impact of the different guides and investments undertaken over the past five years, areas of husbandry where practices are below the Australian standards and where future extension/adoption efforts need to be directed. More information is available at www. mla.com.au/Research-and-development/ Animal-health-welfare-biosecurity ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE