Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 11: Healthy and Contented Sheep
Procedure 11.3
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Strict biosecurity measures are required to maintain freedom from economically significant diseases and parasites. Assessing the risk of disease outbreaks and adopting appropriate strategies can reduce the chances of introducing diseases that affect productivity and profit. If a disease is introduced, action must be taken to control or eradicate it.



At a Glance
Avoiding disease introduction is more cost effective than treatment

Keep footrot, lice and OJD out of your sheep flock

pt When disease is detected, take action to minimise its impact

Key decisions, critical actions and benchmarks

Assess the current disease status of your flock

Some important pests and diseases to be avoided include:

  • Footrot
  • Lice
  • Ovine Johnes Disease (OJD)
  • Drench resistance (discussed in procedure 11.2).

Be able to recognise important diseases (see tool 11.13) and avoid their introduction.

Potential sources of disease

Ask for a signed National Sheep Health Statement concerning disease history, to assess the risk of disease when introducing new sheep into a flock. Visit to download a copy of a National Sheep Health Statement template.

Sheep producers should provide a signed National Vendor Declaration (NVD) for all sheep or lambs they offer for sale or slaughter, and insist on a correctly completed copy when buying sheep or lambs. A signed NVD declares that the owner of the sheep has met the basic on-farm food safety requirements of the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program (see procedure 3.2 in Market Focused Lamb and Sheepmeat Production).

Complete a risk assessment of your boundary fences and policy for new stock introductions, transport and people (see tool 11.14) to identify potential disease risks for your farm.

Quarantine new sheep on arrival

Purchasing stock is a normal part of management on some farms. To minimise the risk of introducing disease, observe quarantine and induction periods during which existing sheep are not exposed to new sheep (see tool 11.15).

Control and eradicate existing diseases

Control and eradicate introduced diseases such as footrot and lice (see tool 11.16).

Signposts Signposts


Footrot Control and Eradication:

Footrot Factsheet: click here to download




ParaBoss – ParaBoss ( is designed as an integrated national program providing best practice advice for managing sheep parasites in different environments in Australia.  It is the umbrella for the three flagship programs:

  • WormBoss
  • FlyBoss and
  • LiceBoss

OJD information is available from Animal Health Australia:

Sheep lice–  for a fact sheet with information for sheep producers on options for the control of sheep lice click here. Alternatively visit the LiceBoss website at 

Animal Health Australia - for a range of information about the national animal health system, along with fact sheets and other biosecurity publications visit:

Livestock Production Assurance Quality Assurance (LPA QA) Manual – implementing LPA QA will focus attention on the performance and welfare of the animals, ensuring improved productivity, and potentially provide entry to specific markets. Livestock producers can register for LPA QA and:

  • Purchase a hardcopy of the LPA QA manual by phoning the MLA hotline on 1800 675 717
  • Download a free copy of the LPA QA manual  at: by typing LPA QA Manual into the search function.

The Sheep and Lamb NVD/Waybill. This is the main document upholding Australia’s meat and livestock food safety reputation. The cost of a standard book of 20 LPA NVD/Waybills is $40.00 and these can be obtained by phoning 1800 683 111. For further information visit:


The Veterinary Handbook for Sheep, Cattle and Goats: Produced by Livecorp, available for iOS and Android. Allows users to search by species, disease or syndrome to instantly access veterinary advice. Can be used offline.