BIOSECURITY implementation on New South Wales sheep properties will be boosted with the appointment of a second specialist extension officer by Animal Health Australia.
Former NSW Local Land Services district veterinarian Dr Sophie Hemley has been appointed to help the state’s sheep farmers implement practical and effective biosecurity measures on their farms.
Dr Hemley grew up on a mixed wool and cropping property near Griffith before studying her veterinary degree at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. She is currently based at Ivanhoe in the state’s west.
The appointment of Dr Hemley is the second under the National Sheep Industry Biosecurity Strategy 2019-2024, which was developed by Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia to secure the future of the sheep and wool industries. The first appointment was Dr Emily Buddle in South Australia.
“We’re here to help and encourage producers to take ownership of their on-farm biosecurity practices so that they can protect their farms against diseases, pests and weeds, ultimately boosting their productivity and profitability,” Dr Hemley said.
“Every landholder and land manager has a responsibility to help manage and reduce biosecurity risks on their property; if everyone does this, we can both make a difference on farm and safeguard the value of our industry as a whole.”
Dr Hemley will be working closely with counterparts within the NSW Government and local and regional farming groups to reach and support producers looking to implement biosecurity measures on their farms.
AHA executive manager, biosecurity and animal health systems, Dr Simon Humphrys, said the expansion of NSIBS into a second state will build on successful outcomes in South Australia in collaboration with Livestock SA and PIRSA.
“NSIBS is a national initiative by our peak industry bodies which aims to make sheep industry biosecurity planning and implementation regionally tailored, effective and, where it makes sense, consistent across Australia.
“AHA is proud to be a part of this initiative and I look forward to working with Dr Hemley to see the Strategy’s objectives realised on properties across NSW,” Dr Humphrys said.
SPA chief executive officer Stephen Crisp said it is great to see the development of NSIBS leading to extension boots on the ground.
“SPA is delighted to have Sophie on board to assist producers improve their biosecurity and protect the sheep sector from disease.”
WoolProducers general manager Adam Dawes said he had no doubt that Sophie’s previous in-field experience and grower communication skills will serve her well in this role.
AHA said Dr Hemley and Dr Buddle will be building local networks and working with industry, producers and their supply chains within their respective states. They will also be working together to support national actions under the NSIBS banner. Find out more via www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/nsibs