Animal Welfare

Multiple approaches to improve health and welfare

During 2013-14 SCA has continued to work on tools and activities that lead to improved health and welfare outcomes.

A knock on affect for Australian producers is that whilst improvements in sheep health lead to welfare gains they can also result in increases in productivity and profitability on-farm.

SCA has represented producers on numerous sheep industry health and welfare initiatives which consider the latest Research and Development (R&D) to develop strategies that can be implemented by producer’s on-farm which lead to improvements in health, welfare and profitability. This has included investigating new pain relief products and vaccinations to prevent disease.

SCA has also focussed on the importance of using sheep health best practices to ensure overall sheep welfare and wellbeing is achieved. This includes promotion with MLA of advances in health and welfare through the Producers Guide to Sheep Husbandry Practices.

The guide provides producers with the latest information on the best practices recommended as a result of R&D findings and the MLA tools and products that are available to assist in implementation.

The Livestock Biosecurity Network has actively promoted on farm biosecurity through the use of the sheep health statements and practices which minimize the risk of diseases establishing in a flock.

The culmination of these R&D and communication projects, initiated by SCA, result in gains from the paddock to the plate.

NFF Animal Welfare Taskforce

SCA remains committed to advances in animal health and welfare not only within the Sheep Industry but across the broader agricultural community. One way in which SCA does this is through participation in the National Farmers Federation (NFF) Animal Welfare Taskforce.

The taskforce has been established to consider animal welfare issues at a national level from a multi-industry perspective. In providing a platform for discussion between a broad range of animal livestock industries, the taskforce attempts to facilitate nationally consistent welfare strategies across livestock sectors.

As a member of the taskforce, SCA ensures that the strategies developed align with the needs of sheep meat producers and SCA welfare strategies, as well as the greater sheep industry. Further to this, interaction with the NFF Biosecurity Taskforce, which SCA is also a participant, ensures welfare strategies are considered in light of current biosecurity policy, including endemic and exotic disease management.