February 19, 2013
A bacterial disease that causes infertility and reproductive losses could be hiding in up to 60 per cent of Victoria’s untested flocks. Ovine Brucellosis, an infection common to sheep, can exist without showing signs of infection, making it especially difficult for farmers to manage. The Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group will hold a forum during the Wimmera Field Days to help producers identify and manage the disease. “OB can have a harmful economic impact on sheep businesses through reduced conception rates and reproductive losses,” VFF Livestock project officer Ms Moroz said. “Although OB has reduced since the voluntary accreditation program was implemented, it’s more wide-spread than producers think with up to 60 per cent of untested Victorian sheep flocks infected with the disease.” DPI Sheep Veterinary Officer Jim Walsh will discuss the critical points of the disease, as well as the voluntary OB Accreditation Scheme. VFF Workplace Relations advisor Robert Martin will also talk to producers about minimum obligations when engaging contract labour, or hiring employees and complying with responsibilities under employment law. The VFF Livestock Forum will be held in the Sponsors Pavilion on Wednesday, 6 March from 12.00-1.45pm and will conclude with lunch. Early RSVP is essential as limited places are available.