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Coonabarabran sheep health statements needed to maintain biosecurity status

Terry Sim, October 7, 2014

sheep Gilgrandra AuctionsPlusCoonabarabran region sheep producers are being reminded to lodge 2014 sheep health statements to help maintain the area’s biosecurity status.

The Coonabarabran Regional Biosecurity Area is being audited and 2014 sheep health statements must be lodged at a Local Land Services office as soon as possible, the Central West LLS said in a statement.

“Please send in any sheep health statements for sheep purchased in 2014 for the benefit of all the producers in the region.”

Non-compliance could mean loss of biosecurity area benefits

Central West LLS Coonabarabran district veterinarian Dr Cecily Moore said each year the region is audited, and if producers have not been complying, Coonabarabran will lose its status as Regional Biosecurity Area and will lose market access.

“If this occurs, producers may be required to routinely test their flocks for OJD, at their own cost, in order to sell into other areas.”

Dr Moore said the sheep health statements helped prevent the spread of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD), footrot and other diseases, and increases graziers’ access to markets.

“While a voluntary agreement, the Regional Biosecurity Plan means Coonabarabran graziers have wider market opportunities and save money on testing for OJD,” said Dr Moore.

“It is particularly important to get a sheep health statement before buying any sheep.

“This will give you the information needed to make an informed decision about the flock’s health status.”

Key element is to buy OJD-safe sheep

Central West LLS said another key element of the Regional Biosecurity Plan is for graziers to buy OJD-safe sheep. A checklist is available from Local Land Services to help determine this.

The Regional Biosecurity Area means sheep graziers can sell their livestock into other biosecurity areas without the need for costly testing. A checklist to help you determine if sheep are suitable for entry into the Regional Biosecurity Area is available from the Coonabarabran Local Land Services Office or the Central West Local Land Services website. If you are unsure, please contact Central West Local Land Services for advice.

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