Case Control Study to Investigate the Primary Causative Agents of Pneumonia in Australian Sheep
This project will investigate the etiology of pneumonia in sheep in south eastern Australia,and provide a greater understanding of the primary respiratory pathogens circulating in Australian sheep and the prevalence of these organisms.
The project commenced in December 2017 and will conclude in December 2019.
This is an MLA Donor Company funded project. We (Joan Lloyd Consulting Pty Ltd) acknowledge the matching funds provided by the Australian Government to support this research project.
Emergency Animal Disease Training | Australian Meat Processor Corporation
In 2016 the Australian Meat Processor Corporation identified the need for a training program to ensure red meat processing personnel understand their roles and responsibilities in an Emergency Animal Disease event. We were engaged to develop an Emergency Animal Disease training program for the red meat processing sector, deliver regional training days to red meat industry personnel and implement the training package in an electronic format that can be accessed by those who cannot attend the training days or who need to refresh their understanding.
The training program was delivered as a workshop during the National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council Limited (MINTRAC) Network Meetings January - June 2017. Very positive feedback was received from workshop participants, with more than 95% of participants saying the workshop met its aim of raising awareness of how a plant might participate in an Emergency Animal Disease response. In addition, 99% of participants said the information learned would be useful when they returned to work.
The e-learning modules and the training manual are available on the Australian Meat Processor Corporation website.
An Investigation of the Potential Link Between Arthritis and Tail Length in Sheep | Meat & Livestock Australia
Arthritis caused by bacterial infections is a relatively common condition in Australian lambs. Bacterial arthritis in lambs is usually secondary to a bacterial infection at a site distant from the joint involved, for example bacterial infection of tail docking wounds. Australian research conducted during the 1940s to 1970s revealed that tails docked longer healed faster than tails docked short. An awareness of this previous research led us to develop the hypothesis that docking lambs' tails short leads to infected tailing wounds that take longer to heal, with subsequent spread of bacteria through the blood to the joints and bacterial joint infections. In 2014 we received funding from Meat & Livestock Australia to investigate our hypothesis.
An association between tail length and bacterial arthritis in lambs was identified, with shorter tails (one or two coccygeal vertebrae) being a higher risk factor for arthritis than longer tails (three or more coccygeal vertebrae). Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was re-confirmed as the bacterium most commonly isolated from arthritic joints collected from lamb carcases.
The project also revealed correlations between arthritis and grass seed infestation and between arthritis and pleurisy/pneumonia in sheep both less than and more than two years of age.
Read the full research report on the Meat & Livestock Australia website or our recently published paper in Small Ruminant Research. You can also read a short summary of the research findings in the May/June 2017 issue of the Meat & Livestock Australia Feedback magazine.
A Review of MLA-funded Johne's Disease Research in Australia | Meat & Livestock Australia
In 2015 Meat & Livestock Australia decided it would be advantageous to analyze its past and current Johne's Disease research investments to determine whether additional research investment was justifiable and, if so, which research should receive priority investment. Dr Lloyd was invited to lead the team Meat & Livestock Australia assembled to conduct the review.
Dr Lloyd and the review team were asked to conduct an ex-post review of Meat & Livestock Australia's Johne's Disease research investments between 1998 and 2015, using a terms of reference provided by Meat & Livestock Australia, which included drawing conclusions as to the:
- Significant Johne's Disese knowledge gaps when the research started.
- Scientific significance of Meat & Livestock Australia-funded research discoveries to date.
- Degree of adoption/implementation of completed R&D deliverables; their impact on practices (both in laboratories and on-farm).
- Time to market of proposed R&D deliverables from current projects.
- Significant remaining Johne's Disesae knowledge gaps, their researchability (likelihood of achievement) and potential industry impact.
Read the full review report on the Meat & Livestock Australia website.
Tail length in Australian Sheep | Australian Wool Innovation
The docking of lambs’ tails is a long-standing practice used to reduce the life-long susceptibility of sheep to breech fly strike. This review addressed the impact of tail length on susceptibility to breech fly strike of unmulesed Australian Merino sheep.
The review was a desktop review of the published literature.
Docking the tails of unmulesed Merino sheep either medium-long or longgave better protection against breech fly strike than docking to give a medium lengthor short tail.
Docking the tails of unmulesed sheep at the second joint or shorter resulted in an inferior result, with these animals experiencing two to three times the rate of breech fly strike as sheep with the tails docked long or medium-long.
Short and medium length tails took longer to heal than medium-long or long tails and were more likely to be infected. Healing was also prolonged in older lambs, with higher rates of infection.
Read the full report on the Australian Wool Innovation website.
A Producer's Guide to Sheep Husbandry Practices | Meat & Livestock Australia
Animal welfare and management on farm can affect the long term success of farming enterprises and the sheep industry. This guide, which was developed following extensive consultation with a wide range of groups, individual, welfare organisations, industry bodies and people with expertise in sheep husbandry, describes best-practice techniques for a number of husbandry practices used when managing sheep.
Strategic Science Beef & Sheepmeat RD&E Workshop | Meat & Livestock Australia
The aim of this workshop was to identify strategic basic science investment opportunities based on the issues and deliverables identified in the National Beef Production research, development and extension strategy.
The focus of the workshop was to identify potential science and technology investments areas that were:
- strategic, basic and/or applied science
- high risk balanced by potentially higher reward
- long term
The workshop did not focus on any one scientific discipline or technology, but rather all possible approaches to issues were canvassed.
Read the full workshop report on the Meat & Livestock Australia website.
Parasiticides for use in Goats | Meat & Livestock Australia
Compared to cattle and sheep, Australian farmers have fewer registered veterinary chemicals available to control parasites in goats. Goat producers were concerned that only a limited number of these products had effective dose rates or withholding period and export slaughter intervals established. Using desktop research, this project revealed that all of the thirty eight parasiticide products registered for goats at the time of the review had a withholding period established and included on the product label. Withholding periods are mandatory and must be included on the label of every registered product in Australia. At the time of the review, only one product had an export slaughter interval established and this was the only new active to be registered for use in goats in the 10 years since the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority became responsible for establishing export slaughter intervals. Review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature revealed that with one exception, the label dose rate for goats was the same as that demonstrated as being effective in published efficacy studies.
Read the full report on the Meat & Livestock Australia website.