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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2012
18 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2012 Sheepmeat Council of Australia is committed to ensuring a productive and sustainable industry. A major component of this goal is maintaining disease freedom nationally for market access, and on individual properties for production. The Australian sheep industry has worked hard to maintain our current disease status which has been achieved through excellent biosecurity practices at the Australian border, amongst states and properties. Effective biosecurity is essential for sheep producers to be able to maintain production by restricting costly diseases from entering their property. One of the on farm biosecurity tools that Sheepmeat Council along with WoolProducers Australia, Animal Health Australia, and Government to provide to producers is the National Sheep Health Statement. This document, mandatory in some states, is to be provided with the consignment as a disease status declaration of significant sheep diseases that have costly impacts if they were introduced to a property. These include Ovine Johne's Disease, Ovine Brucellosis, Footrot, Lice and other vaccination / drenching treatments. Animal Welfare on Farm Sheepmeat Council resumed their involvement in the development of the new Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for sheep on-farm. The key negotiations that industry is engaged in are: achieving national harmonisation for the legislation across all States and Territories; and, reaching practical animal health and welfare outcomes for all sheepmeat producers. Farm biosecurity for livestock producers Sheepmeat Council of Australia is a signatory to the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA). This is the cost sharing agreement between livestock industry bodies and the State and Commonwealth Governments. Being a signatory of the EADRA requires industry to undertake a range of obligations including providing producers with a guide to biosecurity practices they can undertake on farm. On farm biosecurity could be considered as a cheap insurance policy as managing the risks and keeping the disease out is more efficient than dealing with the disease after it is introduced. Sheepmeat Council has been working with other extensive industry bodies and Animal Health Australia to development a document for producers. ovine Brucellosis Sheepmeat Council recognise the impacts of ovine Brucellosis when brought onto a property by purchasing infected rams. We have engaged with state departments and state farming organisations to seek information on the voluntary Brucellosis accreditation programs available in each state, and are committed to providing communications avenues to increase the awareness of this costly disease. Footrot The wetter spring and summer this year resulted in an increase in Footrot. Without the availability of the footvax vaccine in Australia since March 2010, Sheepmeat Council supported state farming organisations to lobby governments for re- instating the import permits and in finding control measures for footrot. Sheepmeat Council along with WoolProducers Australia convened a National Footrot workshop to SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA bring together state farming organisations, state departments, experts in footrot control and researchers to identify the issues and gaps in footrot control. A number of technical and policy gaps were identified, and further work is being conducted with the research organisations and Animal Health Australia to resolve these.