Fewer flocks in quarantine for virulent footrot

30 Sep, 2008 02:12 PM
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This is the time of year to be alert for signs of footrot.
This is the time of year to be alert for signs of footrot.

Western Australia's new footrot control program is making ground with fewer than 20 flocks remaining in quarantine for virulent footrot.

Footrot Management Committee chair Chris Richardson said the control program, jointly funded by sheep producers and the Department of Agriculture, was providing a good level of control, while costing less than expected.

"At the end of 2006-07, we had 27 flocks in quarantine, and this was reduced to 17 by the end of 2007-08," he said.

"It is proposed that industry will contribute $261,000 to the 2007-08 program, which is about half of the expected amount of $500,000.

"Over 2000 lines of sheep in three abattoirs were inspected in 2007-08, with 12 new flocks placed in quarantine.

"However, while abattoir surveillance is ongoing, it is important that producers remain vigilant about the disease and report anything unusual to the department."

Mr Richardson said spring was the best time of the year to be on the lookout for signs of footrot.

"Producers should tip lame sheep over and if they see loss of hair, reddening and moisture between the toes, contact the department," Mr Richardson said.

Mr Richardson said if a producer’s sheep were found to have footrot, they could be eligible for a incentive to eradicate the disease.

"Owners of infected flocks who choose to eradicate footrot are eligible for a payment of 20 cents for each sheep inspected in up to six summer inspections," he said.

"If producers report signs of virulent footrot in their flock, they will be eligible for an additional amount of 10 cents for each sheep inspected at the first summer inspection."

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