Sheep purchasers don't want to buy in OJD. They know that if they do introduce the disease, they will run into problems in their own flock and also put their neighbours' flocks at risk.
Producers offering store or stud sheep for sale may be required by potential buyers to state what they have done about reducing the risk of OJD in their sale sheep.
How do I provide OJD information about my sheep?
You do this by filling out a Sheep Health Statement. This allows you to specify what you have done to manage the risk of OJD on your property and the vaccination and testing history on your property.
Where do I get the Sheep Health Statement from?
You can get the form from your stock agent, any DPIPWE office, download from this webpage, or via the following web page:www.ojd.com.au.
How important is vaccination against OJD?
Vaccination is the key tool for managing OJD. By vaccinating all lambs intended for sale other than for slaughter, you are taking the best possible action to protect your sheep, maximise your market, and safeguard your clients.
The vaccine also works well in older sheep as long as they are vaccinated before being exposed to the OJD bacteria.
What about testing for OJD?
Testing is of most value if it is done under the Sheep Market Assurance Program (SheepMAP).
This means you have an agreement with a SheepMAP veterinarian to manage your flock according to the rules of the SheepMAP program. The program is designed to help you minimise the risk of OJD getting into your flock.
You can also get a veterinarian to do a Pooled Faecal Culture (PFC) test, commonly known as the 'dung test'. This means taking dung samples from 350 sheep (or all sheep over 2 years old if you have a small flock) and undertaking testing at a laboratory. A negative result means it is unlikely that your flock is infected, but it is not a guarantee.
A negative abattoir inspection result also provides valuable management information. Again it means your flock is less likely to be infected, but it is not a guarantee.
To gain a strong indication that your stock is not infected, you need to have at least 150 sheep inspected over a 12 month period or 500 inspected over a 2 year period.
How can the Sheep Health Statement help protect trade?
The Sheep Health Statement provides a means for sellers to promote the sheep with the best OJD assurance.
It is also the most valuable tool by which buyers can assess risk when buying sheep.