Animal management issues
Plan ahead for Brucellosis testing
If you’re planning to join your flock over the coming months, you might like to consider checking your rams for Ovine Brucellosis beforehand.
Ovine Brucellosis is highly contagious and occurs in all sheep breeds. It causes considerable economic loss through ram wastage, low lambmarking percentages and long drawn-out lambing seasons.
The Department of Primary Industries recommends that all rams in the flock be checked at least one month prior to joining to ensure they are sound and free from abnormalities.
Local Land Services Western Region has experienced biosecurity officers located throughout western NSW who can assist with conducting the simple test for Ovine Brucellosis. To schedule an appointment, contact the officer nearest you.
Local Land Services Western Region Biosecurity Officers
- Balranald – Lee Manix 0429 614 953
- Brewarrina – Col Betts 0429 392 047
- Broken Hill – Grant Davis 0400 873 378
- Cobar – Robynne Wells-Budd 0439 596 614
- Hillston – Andy McKinnon 0428 671 370
- Ivanhoe – Johno McLean 0427 470 544
- Tibooburra – John Hiscox 0429 913 425
- Wentworth – Joe Dowling 0427 200 820
- Wilcannia – Tim Wall 0428 915 070
Humpyback cases confirmed
The Department of Primary Industries is urging all sheep producers to keep a lookout and report signs of Humpyback, following confirmed cases in the Bourke area.
Veterinary Officer, Dr Charlotte Cavanagh said Humpyback has been associated with ingestion of Solanum esuralie (Quena/potato bush) and also Malvastrum americanum which are generally found six to 10 weeks after good rainfall.
“The toxins in these plants cause degenerative changes in the brain and spinal cord,” Dr Cavanagh said.
“Affected sheep show symptoms such as a humped back, stress gastroenteritis and fast noisy heart beat.
“There is no cure for Humpyback but affected sheep should be allowed to rest and recover, with access to water and shelter.”
Dr Cavanagh said Humpyback is generally reported in hot weather when full wool merino sheep are mustered for shearing or during other management practices.
“To avoid Humpyback, you should consider rescheduling the muster in cooler weather,” Dr Cavanagh said.
If you're concerned about your sheep, please contact Dr Cavanagh on 02 6830 0003, so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Photo: Malvastrum americanum