Monday, 23 February 2015 00:00

Happy sheep most important

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An overwhelming response to a sheep welfare survey of farmers, scientists and consumers shows animal wellbeing is of utmost importance to the Australian sheep industry, says Australia’s Sheep CRC.

 “This survey is a first step to improve our knowledge in this area and to identify new methods to improve wellbeing standards on Australian farms,” says Sheep CRC chief executive James Rowe.

“Sheep producers genuinely care for the health and wellbeing of their animals and invest heavily in farm management practices, but protecting animals from threats to their health and wellbeing in extensive operating environments remains a major logistical challenge.”

The survey, which received 1530 responses, was run by the Animal Welfare Science Centre, Sheep CRC, University of Melbourne and Meat and Livestock Australia.

The CRC’s animal wellbeing programme aims to develop new risk management information, automated animal monitoring and data management systems to support pro-active management decisions. Data from the survey will fine-tune the work.

“Further improving wellbeing standards will require a big spend, which the industry is making to ensure Australian sheep are provided with enhanced levels of care and protection,” says Rowe.

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