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Producers urged to help control the spread of footrot

Central West Local Land Services District Veterinarians have reported the continued prevalence of footrot in the region, with 45 properties currently under quarantine.

This quarantine affects around 150,000 sheep and is of concern for the producers involved, their neighbours, trading partners, veterinarians managing the cases, and the sheep industry in general.

District Veterinarians have been diagnosing footrot steadily since last winter and continue to see an average of one new case per week.

Central West Local Land Services Team Leader Animal Biosecurity and Welfare, Dr Jillian Kelly, said the continued spread was unsettling.

“Our staff have been actively conducting inspections and traces for months now to stop the spread of footrot,” Dr Kelly said.

“We are concerned at the number of cases we are finding, despite the dry weather.

“This is why it is so important that landholders remain vigilant, especially if we receive high rainfall in spring.

“All landholders need to be aware of their personal responsibility to regularly assess the health of their stock, particularly if they are intending to trade.”

Footrot is also being found in saleyards across the region on a regular basis.

Producers are encouraged to be vigilant when trading and only to buy from reputable sources.

“It is also really important to request and examine health statements closely before any new stock arrives on your farm,” Dr Kelly said.

“You should isolate newly-purchased stock to ensure they are healthy and check that they don’t show any signs of lameness before you integrate them into the main mob.”

Signs of footrot include lame sheep, inflammation between the digits and underrunning of the sole and heel of the foot.

In some severe cases, sheep will lie down, walk on their knees and lose weight.

Footrot is everyone's responsibility. If you see lame sheep or suspect footrot, notify a Local Land Services District Veterinarian.

ENDS

Media Contact: Fiona Townsend on 0428 284 252 or fiona.townsend@lls.nsw.gov.au