South-west Victorian sheep producers are needed for a focus group being held in Hamilton next week.
As part of the Sheep CRC Wellbeing and Productivity Program, and following on from a recently conducted Sheep Welfare Survey, producers are invited to be part of a focus group meeting on May 28.
The Sheep CRC said the producer focus groups are an opportunity to gain more detailed information on welfare and health issues from the perspective of sheep producers.
Focus group participants will be asked to review some survey results and the relative importance of the welfare and health issues raised. There will also be a discussion on monitoring practices.
The Sheep CRC successful focus group was held at Dubbo in late April. It generated a lot of interesting discussion with regard to various on-farm welfare and health issues and current monitoring practices. After the Hamilton focus group meets, a third will be held in Katanning in late July.
The input from the focus groups will be used in setting research priorities for the Sheep CRC’s Wellbeing and Productivity Program. The focus groups are being facilitated by Mark Gardner and organised by Amanda Doughty for the Sheep CRC.
The Hamilton focus group will meet at the Blue Malt Restaurant at 106 Gray Street Hamilton on Thursday, May 28, from 9am-12.30pm, to be followed by lunch courtesy of the Sheep CRC. Interested producers should RSVP by May 22 to attend by contacting Amanda Doughty on 0414 804 207 or via email on [email protected], or call Mark Gardner on 0419 611302.
Sheep welfare survey showed producers care
In January this year the Sheep CRC reported that it sheep welfare survey had shown Australian sheep producers genuinely care for the health and well-being of their animals and invest heavily in farm management practices.
The survey was the first step to determining how to protect animals in extensive farming systems from threats to their health and well-being and to identifying new methods to improve well-being standards on Australian farms.
More than 1530 responses were received to the survey by the Animal Welfare Science Centre (AWSC) and the Sheep CRC in conjunction with the University of Melbourne and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
The producer section of the survey was designed to identify how producers currently monitor wellbeing or identify animals needing treatment or care.
The Sheep CRC’s animal well-being research program aims to develop new risk management information, automated animal monitoring and data management systems to support pro-active management decisions. The data from the survey will be analysed over coming weeks and used to fine-tune the Sheep CRC’s research in this area.
More information about the Sheep CRC’s animal well-being research program is available at www.sheepcrc.org.au