Sheep health is critical to the productivity and profitability of sheep farming. It is also important for reducing the environmental impact of the sheep industry.

Government programs should be aligned with farmers’ priorities for improving flock health.

Farmers and consultants have identified a number of priorities for sheep health, including

Reducing lamb losses from 15% to 7% by carrying out metabolic analysis on ewes and increasing protein levels in the diet.
Implementing a five-point lameness plan to catch persistent offenders and reduce lameness from 10% to negligible levels.

Government programs and farmers’ prioritization of sheep health

Identify and control iceberg diseases such as Johne’s disease and OPA.
There are many steps farmers can take to improve the health of their flocks, including

Working closely with your veterinarian
Taking quarantine seriously.
Vaccinating against priority diseases
Hierarchical management of flocks to reduce disease transmission.
Invest in breeding stock with good health and performance data.
Focus on nutrition and good pasture management.
Government programs should support farmers in taking these steps to improve flock health.

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