A NEW virtual reality tool highlighting the health impacts and industry costs of sheep health conditions has been launched by Animal Health Australia.
The interactive 3D Sheep Carcass tool shows the impact of six key health conditions — grass seeds, arthritis, sheep measles, rib fractures, pleurisy pneumonia and vaccination lesions — in carcases, before and after trimming. It also outlines the causes, methods of prevention and cost to the industry of the conditions.
Grass seeds cost the industry up to $50 million annually and arthritis $39 million a year, due to impacts on animal health and carcase trimming losses in abattoirs. The annual cost of pleurisy-pneumonia is estimated at $20 million, with sheep measles costing industry $2.4 million and rib fractures $3 million each year.
AHA said the tool will help producers learn about how common health conditions can affect the carcase and provide insight into how they can be prevented and managed to increase productivity and profitability.
The visualisation tool was developed to complement PIRSA’s Enhanced Abattoir Surveillance (EAS) project and AHA’s National Sheep Health Monitoring Project (NSHMP) – both projects aimed at collecting and reporting on the incidence of sheep health conditions that present at the abattoir. The launch of the tool is supported by the South Australian Government’s Red Meat and Wool Growth program.
The Red Meat and Wool Growth Program is an initiative of the Government of South Australia supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, SA Sheep and Cattle Industry Funds, and SheepConnect SA.