SHEEP producers in SA and Vic are learning to live with new trading rules for ovine johnes disease.
Although south western flocks across the border are undertaking pooled faecal tests and participating in abattoir surveillance programs, sheep from the region are expected to feature strongly again in upcoming SA breeding ewe sales.
The North West Victorian Sheep Biosecurity Area - incorporating about one third of Vic - is also close to being finalised. It will enable the trade of sheep from the region to resume with SA, without costly individual flock testing.
This is particularly important for the key store markets of Wycheproof, Yelta and Swan Hill.
SA has spent a significant amount of producer dollars, through the Sheep Industry Fund, on controlling and managing the disease, and believes it has contained the incidence of OJD to about 1 per cent of the state's flocks. The new trading regime came into effect three months ago.
It is working to protect this status by more stringent rules with Vic, which has a much higher incidence of the disease.
A completed Sheep Health Statement is a mandatory requirement for the movement of sheep entering, and within, SA but PIRSA has been unable to provide Stock Journal with the numbers of Vic breeding ewes which had been sold at SA sales so far.
Breeding ewes and lambs not T-Tagged (for direct to slaughter) may enter SA if they are not coming from a known or suspected infected flock and participating in a RBP, being from a SheepMAP accredited flock or a negative faecal test (either a pooled faecal culture PFC350 or High Throughput Johnes test) or having had an Abattoir 500 test within the past two years.
Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen director Robin Steen, Naracoorte, said the majority of the annual Vic sellers at the Naracoorte first-cross ewe and ewe lamb sales would be offering sheep again this year, complying with the requirements to enter the state through ongoing abattoir surveillance of their flocks during the past few years.
*Full report in Stock Journal, October 24 issue, 2013.