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Farmers urged to be aware of footrot risk

North West Local Land Services advises sheep farmers to insist on a National Sheep Health Statement when purchasing or agisting stock and regularly inspect their sheep for signs of lameness due to the lush pasture conditions.

Local Land Services district veterinarians from parts of NSW have diagnosed virulent footrot in sheep, particularly in the central west of the state.

North West Local Land Services veterinarian Bob McKinnon said it is likely the increased prevalence of the disease has been exacerbated by the weather conditions and subsequent lush pasture growth.”

“When footrot is diagnosed, District Veterinarians and biosecurity staff take immediate action to limit its spread and determine its source in order  to maintain the state’s footrot protected status,” Dr McKinnon said

All producers are encouraged to be vigilant when trading sheep or goats and to ensure they are buying or agisting from reputable sources.

“Producers should request and carefully examine the health statement or declaration before any stock are purchased or arrives on their farm,” Dr Mckinnon said.

“Newly introduced stock should be isolated to ensure they are healthy, with no signs of lameness, before introducing them to the main mob.”

Signs of footrot include lame sheep, inflammation between the digits and underrunning of the sole and heel. In severe cases sheep will lie down, walk on their knees and lose weight.

Footrot is notifiable under the Stock Diseases Act 1923, so any landholder, land manager, agent or vet who suspects that footrot is present in a mob they have seen is legally obliged to notify a District Veterinarian as soon as possible.

All producers should also concentrate on keeping fences in good condition to ensure straying stock are excluded.

If you observe lame sheep or any other signs of footrot, call your nearest Local Land Services District Veterinarian or Biosecurity Officer.

ENDS

Media contact: Bob McKinnon (02) 5776 7000