Record number of sheep and lambs monitored for health conditions

Sheep Central, October 22, 2018

A RECORD number of Australian sheep were monitored for a range of health conditions under the National Sheep Health Monitoring Project last year.

Animal Health Australia said today during the 2017-18 financial year, the National Sheep Health Monitoring Project captured data from a record number of sheep, having inspected 28,666 lines in 12 abattoirs, totalling more than 6.7 million sheep.

“That’s roughly one in every five sheep processed in Australia for that period, which is a huge achievement for the project,” AHA’s senior manager biosecurity Dr Rob Barwell said.

“This means that more producers than ever can access their sheep health data and begin identifying and managing conditions in their flock which hit them in the hip pocket.”

The 2017-18 NSHMP sheep data tally was 1.4 million up on the 5.3 million sheep measured in 2016-17.

The data is collected by the NSHMP, managed by Animal Health Australia (AHA) and supported by Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia. NSHMP has been active in abattoirs nationwide for over a decade, gathering data on a range of diseases and other conditions which impact producers’ profits through increased processing waste and decreased productivity.

The participating NSHMP plants include Cowra, Dubbo, Gundagai and Tamworth in New South Wales; Murray Bridge and Lobethal in South Australia; Cressy in Tasmania; Ararat, Cranbourne, Geelong and JBS Brooklyn in Victoria, and; Narrikup in Western Australia.

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia has also contributed data to NSHMP via the Enhanced Abattoir Surveillance Program (EASP).

Dr Barwell said the NSHMP checks carcases and offal for 19 different conditions which hurt the producers’ bottom line, but which are often not visible on-farm,” said.

These conditions include arthritis, liver fluke, bladder worm, lung worm, bruising, nephritis, cheesy gland, pleurisy, cirrhosis, pneumonia, dog bites, sarcocystis, fever/septicaemia, sheep measles, grass seeds, vaccination lesions, hydatids, rib fractures and knotty or pimply gut.

“Producers can also request inspection for ovine Johne’s disease in sheep over two years of age at participating abattoirs,” Dr Barwell said.

Up until now, some state departments of agriculture or primary industries have mailed NSHMP or EASP reports to producers, however this process has now been improved with the addition of NSHMP data to Integrity Systems Company’s Livestock Data Link (LDL) portal.

“LDL currently has around 6500 properties who are able to access their sheep health data as well as information about any conditions that might be being seen in their inspected sheep,” Dr Barwell said.

“This means they have access to up-to-date information which can guide them in making management changes or using preventative treatments on-farm to avoid future losses due to trimming or condemnations at the abattoir.”

LDL is a free and convenient way for producers to access feedback on how their livestock are performing and any potential disease or health issues that might require management on-farm.

More information about the NSHMP is available at:

Producers can find out more about LDL at

Although only two abattoirs in Australia are currently providing carcase compliance data to sheep producer clients via LDL — JBS Bordertown and Brooklyn — when NSHMP data is captured by one of the 12 plants, it becomes available to producers through LDL, which they can access with their NLIS/myMLA login. Producers consigning sheep or lambs to one of the 12 plants can access their NSHMP report when they sign in to the LDL portal

Source: AHA.


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