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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
BREECH MODIFICATION ALTERNATIVES AWI has been working on several potential breech flystrike alternatives in recent years, including a liquid nitrogen process, the SkinTraction® intradermal and laser treatment. THE PRESENTATIONS AND SPEAKERS AT THE EVENT LIQUID NITROGEN PROCESS Development has continued to take place of a process using liquid nitrogen to reduce tail and breech wrinkles and breech wool cover. The liquid nitrogen process was developed by Steinfort Agvet Pty Ltd with support from AWI. Further work is being conducted to refine application, reduce variability of results between sheep, and determine the commercialisation of the process. Liquid nitrogen is used in human medicine for the removal of warts and some skin tumours, and in veterinary medicine such as for the removal of carcinomas in cattle and sarcoids in horses. The cryogenic effect of liquid nitrogen freezes skin cells when applied topically. The cells freeze to temperatures of minus 50°C. Ice crystals form within the cells and, upon thawing, the intra-cellular structures and cells are damaged. Healing takes place over a six to eight week period, and an eschar forms which resolves in time. The liquid nitrogen process is intended to be a procedure conducted in conjunction with lamb marking or on weaners. Crutching prior to application is not required for lambs. Loose skin is raised into skin clamps that have liquid nitrogen dispensing rods engineered so as to apply the liquid nitrogen to the elevated skin fold. The liquid nitrogen is applied to positions that mimic surgical mulesing – the areas either side of the breech and either side of the tail. A lineal scar forms where the two skin edges have reformed. Resultant skin reduction occurs decreasing excess skin and associated wrinkles. No open wound is created. It is intended that contractors or certified woolgrowers would perform the procedure. The total cost of the liquid nitrogen process is expected to be $2.00 per lamb, but will be dependent on the location/remoteness (considering transport and storage logistics) and the number per day that can eventually be achieved. Adequate ventilation during use is imperative, such as outdoors or with circulation in shearing sheds. SKINTRACTION® INTRADERMAL The intradermal agent SkinTraction®, developed by Cobbett Technologies Pty Ltd with support from AWI, has been shown to significantly reduce wrinkle and increase breech bare area in Merino sheep. However, while the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has registered the SkinTraction® intradermal (in May last year), it did so with very tight label requirements including: the lamb must be more than 30kg, more than 12 months old, in higher condition score than 2.5, have less than 8mm wool length and no skin cuts or inflammation, have received a vaccination for tetanus, and not be of SRS bloodline. SkinTraction® is sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), an anionic surfactant commonly used in toothpaste, shampoos, cosmetics and food. A needleless applicator delivers a measured dose of the SLS intradermal in the skin not through the skin. This results in breech modification without an open wound. The key concern is removing risk of SLS passing through the skin layer into underlying tissues. AWI funded Cobbett Technologies from 2008 to 2013 during four phases, from proof of concept to pre-commercialisation. Cobbett Technologies had exclusive rights to commercialise the technology and make it accessible to Industry within 12 months which did not occur. AWI continues to hold negotiations with Cobbett Technologies to find a way forward. LASER TECHNOLOGY Scoping trials into the use of laser treatment were unsuccessful and the process did not pass proof of concept. The laser equipment used was similar in concept to that used for human hair removal with the application settings adapted to address wool growth patterns unique to Merino sheep. While this process has proved unsuccessful, research using a new dual laser (using tattoo removal technology) is being reviewed. MORE INFORMATION The latest R&D results for breech modification alternatives were presented at last month’s National R&D Technical Update on Breech Flystrike Prevention and are available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/flystrikeRnDupdate R&D Breeding – DAFWA Mt Barker, CSIRO Armidale Dr Johan Greeff, Department of Agriculture & Food, WA Dr Jen Smith, CSIRO R&D Breeding – DAFWA and UWA Odour and Bacteria Dr Johan Greeff, Department of Agriculture & Food, WA Australian Sheep Flock Demographic Changes – the Past 10 years Dr Paul Swan, General Manager, Research, AWI Industry Progress in Breeding for Breech Strike Resistance Geoff Lindon, Program Manager, Productivity and Animal Welfare, AWI Fly Genome Update of Past Work and Current Project Dr Trent Perry, The University of Melbourne Liquid Nitrogen Progress to Date Dr John Steinfort, Steinfort AgVet Pty Ltd, Warragul Vic SkinTraction Update Geoff Lindon, Program Manager, Productivity and Animal Welfare, AWI Pain Relief Product Update – Meloxicam, Metacam, Tri-Solfen, NumNuts Geoff Lindon, Program Manager, Productivity and Animal Welfare, AWI CSIRO Pain Relief Study Dr Alison Small, CSIRO, Armidale ParaBoss, Successes 2013-2016 and New Phase 2016-2020 Dr Lewis Kahn, University of New England, NSW AWEX National Wool Declaration Dr Kerry Hansford, Australian Wool Exchange Ltd Key Messages – Discussion Geoff Lindon, Program Manager, Productivity and Animal Welfare, AWI MORE INFORMATION The presentations from the event are all available on the AWI website at ww.wool.com/flystrikeRnDupdate ON FARM 35
In the Shops - September 2016