Workshops show value of better animal health

Animal health is one of the key drivers for a profitable livestock enterprise, but some health conditions can fly under the radar. To help producers get a better understanding of what sheep and cattle health conditions are prevalent within their region, the South Australian Livestock Biosecurity Extension Team are hosting a series of workshops across South Australia.

Workshops will be held in Furner, Clare and Mount Compass in August and Jamestown, Hawker and Minlaton in September. Animal Health Australia Extension Manager and Biosecurity Extension Officer Dr Emily Buddle said promoting early detection and prevention of disease is critical when dealing with animal health.

“By attending these workshops, producers and their staff will be better prepared to prevent, mitigate and manage an animal pest or disease outbreak on their farms,” she said. “Improving awareness and understanding of the animal health threats in the region is a crucial step for planning and will ultimately help reduce the stress on a business if disease does find its way on to the property.”

The Better Health for Better Wealth workshops are funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions’ Red Meat and Wool Growth Program and are designed to focus specifically on the health conditions that affect livestock enterprises in each region.

Livestock SA Project Manager and Biosecurity Extension Officer Pene Keynes said utilising intelligence from the Enhanced Abattoir Surveillance Program for sheep, as well as local insights from vets and producers, ensures the topics and demonstrations at each event will be highly relevant and tailored to meet the region’s needs.

“We have worked hard to create a program that will explore both local and state-wide health issues, as well as the implementation of biosecurity for business continuity,” she said. These workshops will provide an opportunity for producers to engage directly with the brains trust of animal health including local veterinarians, Biosecurity SA staff, and key industry experts. “It is not often the opportunity comes along to get animal health industry leaders from across the country in one room to provide their technical expertise on topics SA producers want to learn about,” Pene said.

To see the lineup of speakers in each region or to register, visit the Livestock SA website for more information. The South Australian Livestock Biosecurity Extension Project has been made possible by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions’ Red Meat and Wool Growth Program, Livestock SA, and Animal Health Australia through the National Sheep Industry Biosecurity Strategy 2019-2024.

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