NSW Farmers Association calls for bounty on foxes

By Dominic Geiger

The NSW Farmers Association (NFA) has called for a bounty to be placed on foxes and wild dogs to help reduce the pests’ growing numbers across the state.

The bounty would work along the lines of the current Victorian model, with $10 being awarded per fox and $50 per wild dog.

Chairperson of the Conservation and Research Management Committee at the NFA, Rod Young, said a change in livestock running practises combined with a good season had allowed fox numbers to explode.

“Years ago, there used to be a lot of people shooting for hides, but that stopped when the [fur] industry went,” he said.

“The sheep population has also dropped to a historical low; where you used to have groups of sheep farmers who were collectively baiting for foxes, you now have cattle farmers who don’t bait and leave the sheep farmers isolated.

“A bounty may be an incentive for property owners to allow responsible people onto their land to control fox numbers.

“If combined with baiting, a bounty could be successful in significantly reducing fox numbers.”

Mr Young stressed the importance of only allowing responsible shooters onto properties.

“Obviously it would be up to landowners to police what sort of person goes onto their property,” he said.

Lachlan LHPA senior ranger, Craig Ridley, said he was concerned a bounty would encourage irresponsible people to go out shooting, regardless of whether landowners picked the right people for the job.

“I’d be extremely cautious introducing a bounty,” he said.

“It has a downside, and that’s the idiot factor; we could start losing livestock and, God forbid, people.

“It could encourage idiots to shoot on roadsides.

“The best approach in reducing fox numbers is integrated pest management, which involves a group of landholders conducting coordinated baiting as well as possible shooting.”

Penalties apply for the illegal use of TSR’s

The Lachlan Livestock Pest and Health Authority is warning people that fines apply for illegal uses of travelling stock reserves (TSR).

Lachlan LHPA senior ranger, Craig Ridley says the warning comes following the issuing of a penalty notice to a person who was cutting down trees on a local TSR between Young and Cowra.

“The Lachlan LHPA manages 50,000 hectares of TSR land and in doing so we manage the land to strike a balance between the needs of travelling or grazing stock and the conservation of the natural environment,” he said.

“While TSRs are reserved primarily for travelling or grazing stock, there are a number of other uses which may be approved, some of which require a permit.

“Generally public recreational pursuits, such as walking, fishing or horse riding, can be undertaken without the need for a permit. Grazing and/or walking stock and apiary sites are some of the activities for which a permit is required.

“Fines can be issued to persons who are illegally using TSRs, for example to ride a motorbike, dump rubbish, or undertake an activity without a permit. Fines of up to $5,500 can be issued.

“If you are unsure whether you need a permit to conduct an activity on a TSR it is best to check with your local Lachlan LHPA office first.

“Rangers will be conducting random inspections of TSRs over the coming months to crackdown on illegal uses.”

TSRs are parcels of Crown land reserved under legislation for use by travelling stock. LHPAs manage over 500,000 hectares of TSRs in NSW.

For information on using a particular TSR contact your local Lachlan LHPA office. For more information on TSRs visit the LHPA website at http://www.lhpa.org.au/travelling-stock-reserves.

LHPA prepares record mice bait for landholders

By Katharine Marsh, LHPA District Veterinarian

To assist landholders to combat increasing mice numbers, the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities have now treated over 100 tonnes of grain with Bromadiolone for use as crop perimeter bait.
Tim Seears, LHPA Pests Manager, says record amounts of bait have been distributed to help landholders control the pest.
“This is the most bait prepared in over a decade and it’s likely more will be prepared,” Mr Seears said.
“LHPA rangers have also been assisting landholders with mice problems by providing information on early detection, advising and instructing on ‘bait card’ monitoring techniques, and assisting with designing of bait stations for on-farm situations.
“Rangers can mix liquid Bromadiolone with grain (supplied by the landholder) for the control of mice around crop perimeters. Bromadiolone is recommended when monitoring indicates that there is evidence of increasing mouse numbers and there are no mice in the crop.
“Zinc phosphide is not available through the LHPA but can be purchased from your rural suppliers. Zinc phosphide is recommended when monitoring indicates that mice numbers are increasing within a crop and there is potential for an economic level of damaging occurring.
“If mice are in both the crop and the perimeter, landholders will need to treat both for effective control.
“Due to record demand, there have been ongoing difficulties sourcing rodenticides from suppliers and manufacturers. Advice from suppliers that demand has slowed down recently should allow supplies to catch up over the coming weeks.”
Mr Seears said cold, wet weather doesn’t necessarily have an impact on mice populations.
“Breeding will generally stop or decrease over the winter period depending on available food supplies. A high population going into winter usually guarantees mice problems in spring,” he said.
“So keep up the monitoring and control activities where they are required.”
If you are considering mice control consult with your LHPA ranger or district agronomist for the most up to date information.

Increasing rabbit numbers in Lachlan Shire

By Dominic Geiger

The Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) is currently undertaking rabbit inspections across properties in the Shire to monitor an increase in the pests’ numbers.
Earlier this week, ABC online reported the Central West branch of the LHPA had said it was becoming increasingly difficult to control rabbits across NSW due to the good season.
Despite this, Senior Ranger with the Lachlan LHPA, Craig Ridley, said the Lachlan region had so far been spared any evidence of an impending plague.
“The early results we’ve received from the inspections haven’t revealed anything alarming, although there has been a natural increase,” he said.
“As always we’re encouraging landowners to be vigilant and to take the necessary control measures to help reduce numbers, be it poisoning, trapping or destroying warrens.”
Craig said anyone wishing to obtain baits for poisoning could do so through the LHPA.
“People will have to come to us if they choose to poison with 1080 and we will then give them the necessary information in order to avoid non-target poisoning,” he said.
“It is important to remind landowners that it is their responsibility to manage rabbit numbers on their property.”

Mice are not the only victims of baits

Written by Nik Cronin, Lachlan LHPA district vet

In this week’s article I am not discussing a livestock issue, but one which may be affecting one of the hardest workers on the farm, man’s best friend, the working dog.
Increased populations of mice in the district have lead to increased use of rat baits. The active ingredient in the common rat baits is generally a warfarin derivative that interferes with blood clotting. Animals that ingest the poison will be unable to clot their blood properly and start to spontaneously bleed. They may bleed externally from a wound, or internally, particularly into their lungs.
Unfortunately mice are not the only ones falling victim to rat baits – local vet clinics have been seeing a number of cases of rat bait poisoning in dogs recently. Dogs can be poisoned from directly eating the baits (which dogs generally find quite palatable), or from eating poisoned mice. The active is very strong so not much poison needs to be consumed for it to have a lethal effect.  Common presentations of affected dogs have been weakness and coughing associated with bleeding into the lungs.
If you see your dog eating rat bait it is important to contact your local vet clinic for advice straight away.  If you are using bait and you notice any signs that your dog may be suffering the effects of rat bait poisoning then you will need to get them to a vet clinic as soon as possible. The antidote for rat bait is Vitamin K but if your dog is showing signs of poisoning already they may need a blood transfusion to stem the bleeding while the Vitamin K starts to work.
The only way to totally avoid the threat of accidental poisonings is to use traps rather than baits.  If you do choose to use rat bait, the most important thing is to place it in areas not accessible to animals or young children. If possible you should seal off the immediate area and regularly check for poisoned mice and dispose of these in a safe place. However the poison makes mice thirsty so they may move to seek water. I found several sick mice on our lawn after the recent rain so it is important to keep an eye out for these and again dispose of safely. Because of this I will be checking my dog several times a day to make sure she is bright and well and that her gums are a nice bright pink colour.
If you have any questions about rat bait poisoning in animals you should contact your local vet clinic for further advice.

Sharp rise in mouse numbers a threat to winter crops

Mouse numbers are on the rise across parts of NSW just as winter crop sowing is set to begin, Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW) announced recently.
The Department has urged the State’s farmers to monitor for mice and act before numbers reach plague proportions.
I&I NSW invasive species director, John Tracey, said farmers need to be vigilant as mouse numbers can skyrocket in a short time.
“Mice can produce litters of up to 11 every three weeks and litters can start reproducing in as little as six weeks,” Mr Tracey said.
“To control numbers before mice become a major problem, farmers need to regularly check for mice and implement control measures if numbers start to increase.
“Already increases in mouse activity are being reported around Narrandera, Griffith and other parts of the Riverina.
“This is concerning as winter crop sowing is expected to start in the next two weeks.
“There are also reports of high levels of mouse activity at Broken Hill, Hillston, Hay, Booligal and Wilcannia.
“The main reason for the increase is that conditions are currently ideal for mice, with large quantities of feed available following drought breaking rains and widespread flooding.”
Mr Tracey said farmers should contact their local Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) or district agronomist to report increasing mice numbers, damage caused by mice and for advice on control.
“Control practices that can minimise damage at sowing include sowing at the recommended depth into a moist seedbed and sowing at the optimum time for the variety.
“When mouse numbers are high it is also recommended that all spillages of grain be cleaned up.
“Baiting is effective in controlling small populations of mice, either laid in crops or around the perimeter.
“I&I NSW is working closely with LHPAs and commercial bait suppliers to ensure panic buying of baits does not lead to supply shortages.
“Production of baits has already increased to meet the rising demand in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
“New stocks of bait suitable for use in crops are expected to be available in around three weeks.”
General information and situation updates on mouse plague activity are available at: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/vertebrate-pests

Lachlan LHPA takes stock of local rabbit numbers

Rangers from the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority are gearing up to undertake a widespread survey of local rabbit numbers.
Craig Ridley, Lachlan LHPA senior ranger, says the surveys will establish the prevalence of wild rabbits which will inform decisions about future rabbit control.
“The surveys will entail approximately 500 physical inspections across the district, running from now until June,” said Mr Ridley.
“The results of the surveys are twofold; they will provide a snapshot of local rabbit populations and identify areas where control activities may be required. This will allow landholders to undertake targeted control activities designed to achieve the best possible result.
“Rangers will be in contact with those landholders whose properties will be inspected to arrange the visit. Landholders are encouraged to use this opportunity to discuss control activities for rabbits and other pest animals.”
In NSW wild rabbits are a declared pest animal responsible for major agricultural and environmental damage. Landholders have an obligation to control declared pest species on their land. It has been estimated that the overall economic impact of pest animals is $740 million annually.
“Effective control of this pest requires an integrated and coordinated approach. Common control techniques include baiting, removing harbour and destroying burrows,” Mr Ridley said.
“Baiting undertaken during good seasons can often yield limited results, as there is ample green feed available for rabbits to eat.”
Mr Ridley also reminded landholders to ensure that they have the relevant chemical accreditation to obtain and use 1080 baits on their property.
“Landholders must either have a current AQF 3 chemical card or have successfully completed the new 1080/Pindone training with the LHPA to enable them to obtain 1080 or Pindone baits,” he said.
For further information on controlling wild rabbits or to register interest in attending a 1080/Pindone training course contact your local LHPA office.

Mice plague potential

By Dominic Geiger

Chances are you’ve probably noticed an increase in mice numbers around town lately.
While the odd mouse might cause a problem to bottom shelf vegetables and give some people a bit of a surprise, the tiny rodents generally don’t cause a problem unless present in plague numbers.
So is this increase in the population part of a normal cycle or does it have the potential to become something worse?
Senior Ranger with the Lachlan Health and Pest Authority Craig Ridley said while mouse numbers were up on last year, it was still too early to tell whether the Condobolin area would see a plague in the near future.
“We’ve just had a natural build up as a result of all the good conditions,” he said.
“Wet weather means food, and since the harvest’s just finished there’s plenty of food there as well.”
Craig said there was a distinct possibility there could be an increase in mice populations when cereal crops are planted in late April, though at the moment he was receiving very few mice reports from land owners.
“A lot of what happens between now and then depends on the weather,” he said.
“We’re still encouraging people to be on the lookout; if the mice start to appear in paddocks in substantial numbers it’s important to give the Lachlan Health and Pest Authority a call.
“Realistically, we don’t expect many problems until the crops go in at the end of April.”

Locusts on the hop again in Condobolin

By Dominic Geiger
Farmers in the Condobolin region are being warned to prepare for another locust outbreak as river waters begin to fall.
The next major plague is expected to emerge towards the end of January, due to the discovery of numerous locust egg beds in the area.
Elizabeth Braddon, Senior District Vet at the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) said although wet weather had slowed the breeding cycle down, there was likely to be more locusts emerging this month than during the last outbreak in November.
“We fully expect to have a second round of hatchings,” she said.
“If they all decide to pop out of the eggs at once they could do some severe damage.”
Ms Braddon said it was vital the locusts be controlled as they could severely impact on crops going into the ground now.
“If we don’t watch out for them now, they could cause serious damage to crops this coming spring,” she said.
“We need everybody to keep watching, and to remain vigilant.
“Keep checking for egg beds; we did a really good job prior to Christmas so it’s time to keep up the good work.”

Sheep management practices

Lachlan LHPA livestock health report – October 2010
Written by Eliz Braddon, Lachlan LHPA senior district vet (Young Office)

Worm Activity: Activity is on the rise with summer approaching and the wet conditions.  Most larval differentials are showing mixed infections with Black Scour Worm and Small Brown Stomach Worm.  There have been a few showing some Barber’s Pole activity. Generally, most flocks will require the first summer drench this year but regular monitoring is highly recommended to fine tune the timing of this drench – particularly if it stays wet.
Livestock Management & Disease Problems: Stock losses have been minimal over the past month.
Chemical Residues: Discussions with the MLA’s Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) auditor in the past month revolved around what problems were found when doing these audits.
There are a certain number of audits that are just randomly picked but the rest are based on traceback residue problems.  Interestingly, the feeding of second grade fruit is a common source of residues for livestock.  Producers are advised to consider ALL chemicals used to treat fruit (orchard sprays, dip washes, herbicides) before feeding them to stock.
With locusts and crop fungal/weed infestations likely as well – the withholding periods for treated grazing paddocks/hay/crops will need to be observed as well.  These may be a grazing interval (period between treatment of paddock and safe grazing) or a harvest interval (period between treatment and safe harvest) or there may be an option to graze livestock on the treated paddocks and then observe a period of “clean” grazing to flush residues from the tissues.
Flystrike: With the warm wet conditions, the risk of flystrike will be high this spring.  Some producers are already finding flies causing damage in their flocks.  The constant moisture is increasing the incidence of fleece rot and also dermatitis, which is also increasing the risk of flystrike on these sheep.  Producers are advised to consider the most effective fly prevention program for their flocks – either shearing and/or treatment with a fly protection product.  Also if the wet conditions continue, constant monitoring of sheep for signs of strike will be required as no product is 100 per cent effective at preventing strike in a high challenge environment.  Again, the choice of fly prevention product must take into consideration the likelihood of sheep being presented for sale as some products have longer wool harvest intervals and meat withholding periods which may affect saleability.
Grass seeds: Another problem that comes with wet weather and plenty of grass growth is barley grass seeds.  Grass seeds migrate through the wool to penetrate the skin, causing eye infections, illthrift/deaths particularly in weaner sheep and potential for heavy price discounting by buyers.  Shearing lambs is the best prevention.  Badly affected paddocks can also have tracks slashed through them or be spray topped to lessen the seed load.
For more information on any of these issues, please contact your local Lachlan LHPA office.

Lachlan landholders on front foot in locust campaign

As locusts take to the wing in the north of the state, landholders in the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority continue to work closely with LHPA rangers to coordinate ground control efforts.
Craig Ridley, Lachlan LHPA Senior Ranger, commended landholders for their efforts in timely reporting of locusts and undertaking ground control.
“We are very pleased with the landholder response so far, particularly given the difficulties faced with the wet weather.
“There has also been excellent collaboration with other land managers, such as those people representing the local council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service,” he said.
While locusts in the north of the state start to swarm, Mr Ridley says landholders need to remain vigilant by continuing to check for locusts, reporting activity to their local LHPA office and undertaking the necessary controls.
“Locusts in the Lachlan LHPA district range from newly hatched to 4th instar nymphs. This means control efforts have to be tailored to suit each situation,” said Mr Ridley.
To aid ground control, substantial aerial surveillance has been undertaken across the LHPA district.
“In the last week we had five planes undertaking aerial surveillance around Tottenham, Melrose, Kiacatoo, Lake Cargelligo, Naradhan and Ungarie. The surveillance showed that there were 15 to 20 locust bands, and that all of these classified as ground targets.
“All identified targets were treated via ground control and we have not required spray planes yet. This demonstrates that our local ground control operations to date have been successful.
“To assist landholders with ground spraying we have loaned four LHPA spray units. We have a couple of extra spray units if landholders require them,” Mr Ridley said.
As of 29 October, total confirmed hatchings were 720 for the Lachlan LHPA district.
To report locust activity on your property, contact your local office of the Lachlan LHPA.

Locust aerial plane surveillance in Lachlan

Lachlan LHPA Ranger Brad Hazell and Rebel Ag Pilot Fleur VaughanBy Sally Willoughby

Locust aerial surveillance continued over the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) last week maintaining support for landholders who have been consistently vigilant at monitoring their properties for hatching locusts.
With the local aerial surveillance complementing some 7.2 million hectares of potential hatching areas that have been surveyed from the air, Lachlan LHPA Senior Ranger Craig Ridley said previous surveillance in the area had not been of too much concern.
“At the moment (last Thursday) we’re going down to the Narradan area and working our way north towards Lake Cargelligo,” he said.
“There were quite a few reports early on from that area and with that timing the locusts should be at their third instar and banding so we’re heading out there to make sure we haven’t missed anything,” he said.
With 610 reports (as of Tuesday 26 October) in the Lachlan area this season Craig said that while they anticipated the locusts to take to the wing around mid-November, that was only an indicative time frame and would depend on a number of variables including weather, migration, pasture growth and condition and alternative food sources.
“The hope at the moment is that there is enough feed where the locusts are they won’t want to migrate,” Craig said.
To report a locust hatching or request help from the Lachlan LHPA call 6895 2152.

Don’t risk bloat

A cow displaying a classic bloat symptom - abnormal distension of the abdomen, particularly on the left-hand sideWritten by Belinda Edmonstone, Lachlan LHPA District Vet

With the arrival of spring and ongoing rain we are expecting increase incidences of bloat in cattle. Bloat can occur when cattle graze highly digestible pastures, in particular legumes such as lucerne and clover.
According to a Meat and Livestock Australia study, bloat is the most expensive cattle health issue in southern Australia. Bloat can kill a large number of animals in a very short space of time.
The rumen of a cow is a big fermentation vat that is full of microbes turning grass, legumes and grain into digestible nutrients. As a result tiny gas bubbles of methane and carbon dioxide are produced. These normally break down into a free gas bubble which is belched out by the cow. If the diet is highly digestible this does not happen and the gas remains in a stable foam which cannot be belched. This will cause marked distension of the rumen and if severe will occlude the blood flow back to the heart so that the animal dies rapidly of cardiorespiratory failure.
A bloated animal has a grossly distended abdomen high in the left flank area. As the abdomen continues to distend the animal becomes more and more distressed and starts to stagger, gasps for air, collapses and dies. The progression to death can be very rapid.
Bloat calls for prompt intervention. Move all stock off the risky paddock. Walking less severely bloated animals can sometimes help resolve the problem. Treating orally with oil destabilises the foam. In severe cases, emergency veterinary treatment is required and for this reason prevention is a much better option.
There are a number of strategies to prevent bloat:
Bloat capsules can be administered. These contain an agent that modifies the microbes in the rumen so less gas produced. There is also the added benefit of improving weight gains due to more efficient digestion. The downside is that they are quite expensive at about $ 16/head and they can be difficult to administer.
Bloat oils can be used to destabilise the foam produced. These need to be administered every day. They can be administered in water troughs (provided this is the only source of water) or made available in blocks.
Only grazing pastures when they are not as high risk. Legumes are safer to graze when they are flowering. The problem with this is that you sometimes have to avoid grazing highly productive pastures.
Cattle will learn to handle risky pastures by reducing consumption when they start to feel bloated. Young hungry stock will consume more and therefore have a greater risk of bloating. Do not put hungry stock on risky pastures.
Another important thing to remember is that the same pasture conditions can predispose to pulpy kidney and that clinically they can be indistinguishable. All you find are blown up carcasses. This is easily and cheaply prevented by vaccinating using a ‘5in1’ vaccine. It should be noted that the pulpy kidney component of this vaccine is only effective for 3 months. Providing roughage in fresh highly digestible pastures can also be beneficial.
If you have any questions please call the district vet at the Lachlan LHPA: Forbes Office; 6852 1688, Young Office; 6382 1255, or Condobolin Office;  6895 2152.

Aerial surveillance supports locust battle

The Condobolin LHPA team say the local locust battle has been a collaborative effort between the Authority and vigilant landholders. From left Field Assistant Gary Keen, Senior Ranger Craig Ridley, Ranger Kristy Saul and Ranger Barry MayburyBy Sally Willoughby
Aerial surveillance across the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) began last weekend as a complementary support for landholders in the ongoing combat against locusts in the area.
In what the LHPA has described as a collaborative effort between rangers and local landholders, there have been almost 300 reports of locust hatchings in the Lachlan region, with Lachlan LHPA Senior Ranger Craig Ridley saying the aerial surveillance was a backup for landholders who had been vigilant in reporting locust sightings to the Authority.
“This is a comprehensive process,” Craig said.
“We’ve had reports from farmers, inspected the land, issued chemical where appropriate and now we’re providing the back up support for landholders with aerial surveillance to effectively keep an eye on their properties.
“In the coming weeks we plan to also do the Lake Cargelligo and Eugowra area and anywhere else on a need-to basis,” he said.
With history proving the most effective way to control the pest as they band together on the ground, Craig said there is a much greater awareness and vigilance from landholders in reporting the sightings this season.
“In the past we’ve had reports come in usually when the locusts are around the fourth or fifth stage [of their lifecycle] but this time the majority of the reports are with them at a 1st or 2nd instar stage which gives us a lot more time to go about inspecting and tackling the situation,” Craig said.
With over 60,000 hectares of locust-infested land chemically treated by aerial strikes throughout the state, all Lachlan reports thus far have been treated via ground rigs.
“In bands aerial spraying is very effective but the restrictions on distances from sensitive areas make aerial spraying in the Lachlan authority very difficult,” Craig said.
“All chemical so far has been spread using ground rigs and this has proved the most effective and safest option so far,” he said.
With the first reports of locusts in the area coming from Tottenham three weeks ago, current reports are spread throughout the Lachlan Authority 30 kilometres west of Lake Cargelligo, East of Cudal, Canowindra with pockets through Young and Quandialla.
With the warm weather, locusts are expected to take to the wing by around mid-November.
“All along this has been a joint effort and, to their credit, landholders are really supporting the effort by being informed and aware and reporting all activity to the Authority,” Craig said.
If you need to report locust hatchings to the Lachlan LHPA call 6895 2152.

New Ovine Johnes Disease boundaries

By Belinda Edmonstone, Lachlan LHPA district veterinarian
Ovine Johnes Disease (OJD) is a disease in sheep which causes chronic weight loss with or without scouring, ultimately leading to death.
It was a regulated disease until 2004 at which time it time it became deregulated. Much to the relief of all, involved quarantines were lifted and sheep were free to move anywhere in NSW. The only requirement was that if they were sold as restockers, the vendor was required to supply a National Sheep Health Statement (SHS). This gives the sheep a score (Assurance Based Credit Points), providing purchasers with information that allows them to assess the risk of introducing OJD  to their property if they were to buy the consignment of sheep. The higher the score the less risk. This is known as risk based trading.
The SHS contains information on the vaccination history of the consignment and the flock the sheep originate from, any OJD testing performed on the flock and the Prevalence Area the sheep have come from. Recently there has been a review of these boundaries coordinated in NSW by Industry and Investment (I&I) NSW. As a result there have been some changes to the OJD Prevalence area across the state and country. In many areas lower prevalence areas classifications will change to higher prevalence areas classifications.
Many of the current NSW boundaries are based on outdated Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) divisional boundaries and more suitable boundary descriptors were identified during the review. These boundaries more accurately reflect the local prevalence. In the Lachlan Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) this has benefitted producers in the old Forbes RLPB, west of the Forbes-Stockinbingal railway line, east of the Newell Highway and south of the Lachlan River and those producers west of the Newell, east of the Jemalong Range and south of the Lachlan River who were in a high prevalence area. The new boundary changes mean that these producers will become part of the low prevalence area. Producers in this area who have no reason to suspect that their flock is infected with OJD will be able to get 4 credit points on the SHS for prevalence area instead of 0. These changes commence from January 1 2011.
If you have any questions please called the District Veterinarian at the Lachlan LHPA – Condobolin Office on 6895 2152.

Farmers on Locust Red Alert

Farmers in NSW are being reminded to report any sign of locusts to their local Livestock Health and Pest Authority, to help contain a massive plague expected this season.
NSW Farmers’ Association President Charles Armstrong is urging farmers to be on guard as temperatures rise across the State.
“The season is well underway with more than 250 hatchings confirmed, and a giant infestation spanning 265 square kilometres spotted in the State’s north west,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Farmers are at the front line of controlling any outbreaks, and it’s important they remember to report any locust activity immediately.
“Timing is the key, and it’s vital farmers respond as quickly as possible to help limit the number of eggs laid for the next season,” Mr Armstrong said.
As insecticide spraying begins in NSW, farmers are also reminded of their duty to control locusts on their properties before they take to the wing.
“Locusts are best controlled by spraying when the nymphs band together – usually a couple weeks after hatching,” Charles Armstrong said.
“Insecticide is provided to ratepayers of Livestock Health and Pest Authorities free of charge, and can be obtained from local offices.
“Farmers should continue to only use approved insecticides, and follow instructions closely, in order to contain locust outbreaks safely,” Mr Armstrong said.

Livestock health update

By Eliz Braddon, Lachlan LHPA Senior District Vet.
Worm Activity:  Activity is starting to rise again with the warmer weather.  Most worm counts at the moment are reflective of Black Scour Worm activity.  It would be recommended to do some worm tests on young stock in particular in the coming weeks to keep ahead of any problems.
Livestock Management & Disease Problems:  Stock losses have stabilised over the past month.
Clostridial diseases: With the high quality and quantity of feed available at the moment, there have been both suspected and confirmed deaths from Pulpy Kidney in sheep and cattle.  Some of these have not been the typical sudden death we expect to see with Pulpy Kidney.  If animals have partial immunity, the disease is taking a slower course.  However, prevention is the same.  With the good season ahead, it is highly recommended to ensure ALL Clostridial vaccinations are up to date.  If animals have not had 2 shots initially – they should get that booster.  If animals are beyond 3-6 months from their annual booster, then a booster shot would be a cheap insurance policy this spring.
Virulent Footrot:  With the warmer, wetter weather, we are starting to hear of Virulent Footrot cases emerging in other areas.  These are the perfect conditions occurring for spread of the disease and producers are reminded to be vigilant.  Particularly high risk flocks are those that: had footrot in the past 5-10 years and were released during the dry times; purchased in sheep from either the north of the state or especially Victoria; purchased sheep out of saleyards with no known history for the origin of the sheep.
Quarantining and inspecting flocks over a 2-4 week period for signs of lameness is a prudent                 precaution.  If you have any concerns, please contact the LHPA office for advice / assistance.
Dermatitis:  With sheep and lambs being continuously wet over the past few weeks, there is an increased incidence in dermatitis.  In lambs this can be particularly severe if it extends over the majority of the backline.  It causes skin damage and with the warming weather – this will mean fly strike will be a problem as well.  In severely affected flocks, antibiotics are often used to dry up the scabs and lift them away from the skin surface.  If you have a dipping program in place, then adding Zinc Sulfate to the dip wash is also a good idea.
Locusts:  As you will have heard the locusts have begun to hatch.  The Lachlan LHPA office is here to assist with your locust problems.  Once you notice them hatching, contact the office and report the activity.  We will need to know the density of the locust patch (eg. How many locusts / square metre) and also what size they are to gauge the lifecycle.  A ranger will then be in touch to gather any additional information and also to issue chemical required to spray.
Zolvix:  A new drench class has been launched recently called the “Orange” class.  The first product in this class is called Zolvix.  It is an entirely new chemical that is specific to nematodes only (eg. Roundworms) so it should be highly effective.  It will not have activity against liver fluke or tapeworms (these are not nematodes).  If you have a resistance problem or need to give your Mectin drenches a rest to preserve their lifespan, then Zolvix may be a good choice.  For drench advice, contact the local LHPA District Vets to determine what is best for your property.
For more information on any of these issues, please contact your local Lachlan LHPA office.

Droving Condobolin’s Campdraft

Cattle being brought in for the Condobolin CampdraftBy Sally Willoughby
With a record number of entries registered, Condobolin will host some of the best campdrafting competitors in Australia this weekend with Condobolin’s annual Campdrafting event starting this Friday 10 September from 2.30pm until Sunday 12 September.
Boasting some of the biggest names in the sport including Rydal’s Nigel Coe, Gilgandra’s David Wilson and Lara Garlick, President of the Condobolin Campdrafting Association Bill Gordon said the committee were gearing up for an exciting weekend.
“We’ve got a record number of entries since recent years with about 1000 runs and some of the biggest Campdrafting names in Australia coming to compete,” Bill said.
“There are also a record number of kid entries and the ladies entries have almost doubled that of last year,” said Treasurer Jeff Kirk.
With $6000 in prize money on offer plus trophies, the popular Calcutta will again run for the Opens Campdraft on Saturday night under lights.
With one thousand head of cattle walked in from Newlands and Borambil Station earlier this week, President Bill Gordon thanked all the people who put so much work in behind the scenes to make the event successful.
“We’re very appreciative of our sponsors and we’d also like to thank the LHPA who waive the scanning and droving costs which is financially very helpful for the club,” Bill said.
Condobolin Campdraft begins on Friday at 2.30pm at Condobolin Pony Club, Campdraft and Rodeo Grounds. It will run until the Sunday evening.

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