You always learn a lot when you sit on the other side of the fence. I run a family sheep and wool business in an area near Yass which has been historically negatively affected by wild dogs. I am all too aware of what it’s like to find your sheep mauled or killed and the economic impacts from wild dogs. Our property is in the area covered by the Burrinjuck Wild Dog Plan. Although the plan is short on funds (as probably most are), it has been successful. The Burrinjuck Wild Dog Plan has enabled me to run my business adjacent to public land.
Since taking up a position on the Board of the South East Local Land Services I now see the issues more broadly and from the other side of that fence.
The management of wild dogs is more complex than the management of other pests because public and private land managers don’t always have the same objectives. For example, parts of public land are classified as Schedule 2 land, where the dingo is protected. Most wild dog populations in the South East live and breed in publicly managed land, such as National Parks and State Forests, but stray from publicly owned land onto private land.
In order to live harmoniously, side by side, there needs to be a buffer zone, Schedule 1 land on the border of publicly managed land between Schedule 2 land and private land where wild dogs can be controlled. In this way, public land managers could achieve their objective of protecting the Dingo, private land holders could carry out their business, and wild dogs would be prevented from moving further into grazing land.
A recent case of mad cow disease (or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE) in Canada serves as a reminder how fortunate Australia is to be free from BSE, and how important it is for us not to be complacent.
BSE is a progressive, fatal neurological disease in cattle caused by an abnormal protein called a prion which infects the brain. BSE is spread by feeding meat meal to cattle. In Australia it is illegal to feed ruminants (eg cattle, sheep, goats, deer) Restricted Animal Material (RAM). Restricted Animal Material includes: meat, meat and bone meal, blood meal, poultry offal meal, feather meal, fish meal or any other animal meals or manure. Our ruminant feed ban is the most critical control measure to ensure we remain BSE free. If any of you see anything which might look like ruminants having access to meat, fish or poultry during your daily work, please bring this to our attention as soon as possible.
Australia cannot simply claim to be free of BSE, we must be actively looking for the disease and demonstrating to our trading partners that we are free. To prove our freedom from BSE we have the National TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) surveillance program. This involves private and district veterinarians collecting and examining the brains from cattle and sheep showing neurological signs, to exclude diseases such as BSE and scrapie as the cause.
Senior Land Services Officer – Livestock
Last month’s outlook by John O'Connor and Amanda Britton looked at some of the issues in dealing with summer growing species as we move into autumn. While this is certainly an issue on the coast (and other parts of the region that have continued to receive rainfall), on the western side of the range paddocks have gone brown again.
There’s no doubt that autumn is the most variable season that we deal with and things can change extremely quickly. This variability makes it particularly difficult to plan ahead. One of the best ways to get a handle on things is to review the following four key areas of a grazing enterprise: stock condition, pasture quality/quantity, soil moisture and weather outlook.
Round Two of the Landholder Grants Project is open until 17 April 2015. The aim of the grants is to support improved knowledge and skills in sustainable land management practices and to assist land managers improve practices.
The assistance is available to individuals and groups within the local government areas of Yass Valley, Boorowa and Upper Lachlan. You can apply for support in:
Online StockPlan training
Stock Confinement Area
Fencing for ground cover management, land capability and alternate water supply
A number of Theileria cases have been observed in cattle in the last couple of weeks in the Yass area. Affected cattle were extremely slow, lethargic and obviously unwell. On closer examination these cattle were found to be very pale or had a yellow jaundice to the gums and anaemia was confirmed with blood tests. Theileria can cause extreme ill health and death, and in this outbreak one owner has now lost 5 of the 40 cow herd.
What is unusual in these cases is that Theileria is not usually seen in this area and that cattle had not been recently introduced to her herd. Theileria has been causing increasing occurrences of disease
on the coast and inland in NSW over the last decade.
Theileria is a tiny protozoal parasite of red blood cells which is traditionally thought to be transmitted between animals by ticks. Theileria destroys the red blood cells resulting in anaemia and lethargy. It can also cause abortion in pregnant cattle, generalized ill-health and death in those worst affected.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has developed and recently released the NSW WeedWise App. The App profiles more than 300 noxious and environmental weeds in NSW. It combines weed profiles and control information as well as the legal requirements under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 in one easy-to-access location. Each weed profile contains a physical description of the weed, an image gallery and detailed information about its impacts, where it occurs, how it spreads and its preferred habitat. The latest control options are described for each weed and the herbicides registered for its control are listed, including application rates and techniques.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) together with MerinoLink is conducting research on mineral and vitamin supplementation in sheep that is funded by the NSW Sheep Industry Fund. The main aims of the research project are to investigate:
What mineral and/or vitamin supplements sheep producers use and the reasons.
What the production and health effects of the supplements are on different classes of sheep
The cost benefit of using these
To achieve this they are initially doing a survey of producers using a questionnaire. This will be followed by field trials on 8-10 properties, starting in May/June and run over twelve months. Supplements trialed and parameters investigated will largely depend on the survey results.
If you are a sheep producer please assist this research by filling in the questionnaire. The closing date for the survey is 30 April 2015. For further information please contact Luzia Rast at email@example.com.
South East Local Land Services is seeking to contract the services of two suitably qualified and experienced pest animal controllers to undertake baiting, trapping and shooting control activities with a priority focus on effective wild dog management.
South East Circular is a monthly email newsletter containing information about our services, biosecurity alerts, technical articles and notices of upcoming events, training and funding opportunities. All comments can be sent to: