There's a call for sheep producers to take part in a survey as part of research to better understand and improve animal health and biosecurity practices.
The research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation is led by Charles Sturt University (CSU) senior lecturer in veterinary epidemiology and public health, Dr Marta Hernandez-Jover.
"This short online survey aims to build our knowledge about Australian sheep producers, their aninmal health management, and attitudes towards surveillance for emergency animal diseases," Dr Hernandez-Jover said.
"We also want to investigate how sheep producers can be better supported to improve on-farm profitability and animal health management, through innovative communication and extension approaches.
The confidential survey is available online here and will take producers about half an hour to complete. Those taking part will go into a draw to win one of 20 $50 retail gift vouchers.
Postdoctoral researcher Dr Jennifer Manyweathers said, "Information from this study will contribute to current research on biosecurity and disease surveillance.
"Our aim is to build producer-led and partnership based animal monitoring systems so that Australian livestock industries are more reliant and prepared for an outbreak of emergency animal disease."
This research is part of a wider Rural Research and Development for Profit integrated project to improve surveillance, preparedness and return to trade from emergency animal disease incursions using foot and mouth disease (FMD) as a model. Read more here.
It is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and CSU, leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners.
The research partners for the wider project are the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), CSU, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).
Producers can take part in the survey here.
Media note: To arrange interviews contact Graham Centre communications officer Ms Emily Malone 0439 552 385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This research has been approved by Charles Sturt University's (CSU) Human Ethics Research Committee.