Producers urged to participate in national Sheep Parasite Survey

Monday, 04 February 2019

Sheep producers are being urged to participate in a national survey that could change the way the industry manages parasites including worms, flies and lice.

A survey of this type has not been performed since 2011 and sheep producers now have the opportunity to influence the future of parasite management, research and extension.

Lead by a team of researchers from the University of New England, the recently launched AWI-funded survey will assess on the parasite control measures of sheep producers across Australia, focusing on worm, liver fluke, blowfly and lice control.

Australian Wool Innovation General Manager for Research Dr Jane Littlejohn explained the survey results will enable industry to identify the important parasite management issues impacting sheep producers.

“The results from the parasite survey will also provide updated regional benchmarks for parasite control,” Dr Littlejohn shared.

“The resulting benchmark will be available to sheep producers to then compare their management practices and, if necessary, make changes to their enterprises.”

Internal and external parasites combined comprise the major disease problem of Australian sheep costing the industry an estimated $715 million per year including $495 million in lost production and $220 million in costs of control.

Queensland sheep producer and veterinarian, Noel O’Dempsey, who runs fine wool sheep and prime lambs at Linallie in the Traprock country between Texas and Inglewood, is on the Steering Committee for the project.

“I encourage all sheep producers to take the opportunity to complete the survey,” he said

“This is an important survey for producers, and they should take the time to complete it as accurately as possible.

“The results of the survey will not only allow industry to benchmark current parasite control strategies and get a feel for what changes have occurred since the previous survey, but it will ultimately enable producers to fine tune their on-farm parasite control, be it for worms, flies or lice.”

All sheep producers are encouraged to participate in the survey which opens on Tuesday February 5.

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