by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2013
SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2013 37 Tasmanians were heroic during the bushfires in early January and the community spirit, support and generosity was amazing. Without a doubt the most important thing to come out of this experience is the reminder of how we all work together in times of disaster to support not only family friends and neighbours -- but people we have never met. We know that at least 10,000 livestock, mainly sheep, were killed outright or had to be put down. The cost of replacing hundreds of kilometres of fencing alone is about $10 million. Orchards, plantations and vineyards were destroyed and pastures will need to be re-established and the list goes on. With fine wool prices decreasing over the last three years there has been a move to meat breed types. This, coupled with the move by some producers to environmental schemes for traditional wether country, has meant a change in the traditional structure of the Tasmanian sheep industry. New investment into Tasmania's irrigation schemes particularly across the Tasmanian midlands will mean an increase in the number of sheep being grazed under irrigation with higher stocking densities. Footrot For Tasmania and many other parts of Australia, footrot in sheep is a significant problem. Potentially more than 40% of flocks in Tasmania could be infected with footrot. Most Tasmanian sheep producers used FootvaxTM as the basis for effective control and eradication programs and have seen increases of within-flock prevalence since the vaccine became unavailable. Eradication has been achieved in very few flocks using conventional techniques mostly due to the short non-transmission period and irrigation practices. Regulatory programs aimed at eradication of virulent footrot were terminated in 1975 and many producers now rely on control programs. Despite this, producer confidence remains strong. Most producers are intending to maintain or to increase sheep numbers. During the year the TFGA Meat Council has dealt with a range of issues including footrot, OJD, Sheep Standards & Guidelines, shearer, wool handler and animal welfare training, live exports, NLIS data and RFID identification of sheep, water, wild life and firearms policies and a review of the TFGA constitution, biosecurity, marketing and R&D. Industry Programs TFGA works with and supports the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and AWI funded Sheep Connect Program. The key priority program areas for 2012-13 are flock fertility and genetics, sheep health, pasture management, increasing productivity, using EID for sheep management and breeding and bushfire response. OJD Update A TFGA chaired, industry wide OJD Taskforce has been set up in Tasmania to agree to a strategic approach for control, eradication and the management and safety of vaccines. The National Sheep Health Statement has been updated and an excellent job is being done by Tasmanian Quality Meats, Cressy, with their State Abattoir Surveillance Program and recently their AHA funded project to look at the costs associated with OJD and other diseases to the industry. A key focus area this year is about tackling diseases and many Tasmanian sheep producers and vets have attended the abattoir tour and disease workshop sessions conducted by the meat processor on the impacts OJD, cheesy gland, Sarcocystis and sheep measles have on carcase quality. Abattoirs have seen a dramatic increase in the number of sheep carcases presenting with Sarcocysts. Producers have reported an increase in the number of spontaneous abortions in sheep flocks caused by Toxoplasmosis, which is spread by the feral cat population. Industry Training TFGA is offering a subsidised tertiary course in Agribusiness, the 'how to' for running the planning and business side of a farm. With funding support from the National Workforce Development Fund, the TFGA is underwriting the Certificate IV course offered by Tasmanian training provider Singleton Consulting & Training. The program means up to 20 participants will have two-thirds of their total course costs subsidised. The course is structured to allow students to meet on-farm commitments and can pace themselves; as long as they complete within 12 months of the start date. Delivery will be both online and through face-to-face workshops. Biosecurity and Quarantine The need to keep Tasmania free from pests and diseases not found here is an important issue to protect both our flocks and markets. TFGA is working with the state department and Animal and Plant Health Australia who are conducting producer workshops on biosecurity measures and controls. TFGA also work closely with Quarantine Tasmania to determine risk assessment and auditing procedures at ports. For further information www.tfga.com.au Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association