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Use of National SHS to commence on March 31
17
Mar '08
A National Sheep Health Statement (SHS) will be available to use from 31 March 2008, to make the trading of sheep between states even easier and to help producers to understand the health status of sheep they intend to buy.

There are a number of endemic diseases in Australia that impact on the health of sheep, causing a loss of production for the sheep meat and wool industries and significant losses to farmers.

WoolProducers Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, State Governments and the Australian Livestock and Property Agents have developed a National SHS to create national consistency in sheep health declarations and to encourage buyers of sheep to ask about the health status of the sheep they are purchasing.

Chris Groves, President Sheepmeat Council of Australia said “A National Sheep Health Statement will give purchasers the opportunity to make better informed purchasing decisions based on the health information provided on the statement, thereby reducing the risk of accidently introducing costly diseases onto their property.”

The use of the National SHS will commence on 31 March 2008 and will replace the current state based SHS. This coincides with the new changes to the ovine Johne's disease (OJD) Management Plan, however the new National SHS will not only cover OJD but will be used to record the status of other common sheep diseases including; footrot and ovine brucellosis.

Greg Weller, Chair of National SHS working group outlines some of the benefits of the National SHS “a National Sheep Health Statement will make trading sheep across state boundaries a much simpler process for producers and their agents and should be welcomed by industry.”

Andy Madigan, Chief Executive Officer Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association also adds “The National Sheep Health Statement is going to streamline the trading of sheep across Australia and take out the confusion of different forms in different states for agents and producers.

The agents also recognise the importance of this document for vendors as a selling tool and to help producers implement their own farm biosecurity arrangements.”

WoolProducers Australia Ltd

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