As sheep producers, animal health and welfare has always been our concern and our responsibility. Nothing has changed except for the increasing spotlight and oversight by some, sometimes with an alternative agenda to good commercial sheep health.
In November 2014, the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders accepted an invitation for membership to the Wool Industry Animal Health & Welfare Advisory Group being offered from Wool Producers Australia. Funding and a service agreement for this group comes from the Animal Health Australia (AHA) budget from levies applied to livestock sales.
The Wool Industry Animal Health & Welfare Advisory Group is chaired by Richard Halliday of Callowie Merino Stud in South Australia and President of Wool Producers Australia.
Discussion is broad and covers current sheep health concerns as well as response plans for future disease outbreaks and livestock management issues that are raised that affect the Australian wool industry. Topics include: the wild dog action plan, OJD management, Footrot R&D, Market Access, peri-urban animal health issues, saleyards, mulesing, pain relief, NLIS. Meetings are held 4 times a year, the most recent in Canberra on 23rd February 2015.
Stud Merino breeders know only too well the cost associated with disease outbreaks and have good animal health and welfare practices at top of mind when management concerns are raised. Any issues of concern should be raised with the AASMB to take forward on behalf of stud members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.