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Beyond the Bale : September 2018
ON FARM 49 breech strike incidence in Merino breeding programs while maintaining or improving productivity. These revisions are in light of updated genetic estimates that have since become available based on young crutched sheep, a management regime more typical of commercial industry practice. Breeding for breech strike resistance: genomics Dr Sonja Dominic of CSIRO provided an update on a project to complete the final phase (and most divergent between resistant and susceptible lines) of genotyping the breech flystrike resource flocks in NSW and WA. Outcomes are expected to form the only genomic reference population for breech flystrike resistance. The genome- wide association study for breech flystrike resistance and indicator traits will contribute to determining pathways for further genetic evaluation research in breech flystrike for sheep. IMPROVED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES Breech flystrike risk factors – a review Dr Peter James of the University of Queensland spoke about a review being undertaken of flystrike risk factors with a view to developing new or improved means of control. Specifically, its objectives are to review current and past information on the importance of identified risk factors; assess potential for utilising odour and other cues for the development of new controls; identify areas of knowledge deficit in risk factors for breech flystrike and recommend key areas of research towards more effective flystrike control. Fly genome research Continued work by the University of Melbourne on the genome of the sheep blowfly is providing greater understanding of what attracts the gravid female to sheep and what genes are active in the early larvae stage. Dr Trent Perry of the University of Melbourne reported that this will enhance the ability of researchers to identify and target blowfly genes critical to its lifecycle. This ongoing and significant body of work is already contributing to the next steps in the development of new chemical controls that could kill the larvae or repel the female fly, and consideration for a blowfly vaccine which could potentially prevent the larvae feeding on the skin and underlying tissue of the sheep. New chemicals for blowfly control Dr Andrew Kotze of CSIRO spoke about the need for new chemicals for blowfly control due to the limited number of drugs for protection against flystrike. A CSIRO project to identify new compounds, providing a basis for the development of new insecticides to control sheep blowfly, is under way. Dr Kotze reported that, if successful, next steps will be to attract investment from an animal health company towards developing and commercialising a novel insecticide, potentially using the blowfly as a proof-of-concept for a wider insecticide role. CSIRO has already started talking to several animal health companies, but the anticipated time frame for development of new chemicals would be at least 5-10 years. CSIRO pain relief study and next steps Dr Alison Small of CSIRO reported on pain relief research co-funded by AWI that shows the use of the anti-inflammatory agent Buccalgesic® and anaesthetic actives in Tri-Solfen®, singly or in combination, provide welfare benefits that persist for at least six hours post-mulesing based on behavioural observations (only assessed for 6 hours), and up to 24 hours based on physiological parameters. The best outcome was seen where Tri- Solfen and Buccalgesic were used in combination, delivering the benefits of both local anaesthetic and non-steroidal anti- inflammatory agents. Buccalgesic therefore offers a good adjunct to Tri-Solfen in extending the pain relief period for sheep undergoing surgical mulesing. See page 42 of the June edition of Beyond the Bale. Participants heard that the results from this project have already been used to support registration of Buccalgesic for use in mulesing, and that there are now three pain relief options (Metacam, Buccalgesic and Tri-Solfen) available for woolgrowers to consider for their lambs in the alleviation of pain during mulesing, castration and tail docking. Woolgrowers are advised to consult with their local veterinarian as options do vary between procedures. BREECH MODIFICATION ALTERNATIVES Breeching Process John Steinfort of Steinfort Agvet reported that the original R&D into treating the breech using the Liquid Nitrogen Process was not successful and has been discontinued. However, he is now working on a new Breeching Process, also using Liquid Nitrogen. AWI is not funding this new work. SkinTraction Bridget Peachey of AWI told the forum that discussions continue with a potential new partner for further SkinTraction R&D to overcome the tight APVMA label use restrictions. WOOL INDUSTRY TRAINING AND ENGAGEMENT Moving to a non-mulesed Merino enterprise AWI’s Geoff Lindon told the forum about the AWI manual Planning for a non-mulesed Merino enterprise that outlines important matters for woolgrowers to consider in planning to move to a non-mules enterprise. Forty producers who have successfully made the transition were interviewed for the manual. Geoff said the key messages from these businesses are: the focus should be on improving whole-of-life welfare; re-balancing the remaining mix of tools used to control strike and ensuring the wool premiums are maximised and the discounts minimised for un-mulesed restocker sheep. A key learning from the producers was that it is important to have a detailed plan in place before starting the move to a non-mules enterprise, that has the support of everyone involved in the business. The manual is available to download from www.wool.com/flystrikelatest or from the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099. A practical 10 step guide is also available on page 54 in this edition of Beyond the Bale. Sheep ectoparasite resistance update Narelle Sales of NSW DPI spoke about how AWI and NSW DPI have jointly funded a project to determine insecticide resistance profiles of the two major ectoparasites of the Australian wool industry, the Australian sheep blowfly and the sheep body louse, across the major wool producing regions of Australia. To ensure that all wool-growing areas are covered, NSW DPI researchers are seeking blowfly samples from across Australia. A request is out for woolgrowers from all states across Australia who are willing to provide blowflies from their property for use in this research – see page 50 for more information. Improving parasite management of sheep The Executive Officer of ParaBoss, Dr Deb Maxwell, talked about FlyBoss, a producer- focused online information resource, jointly funded by AWI and MLA and delivered by UNE. It is one of a number of websites under the ParaBoss suite of tools, which also includes WormBoss and LiceBoss. The FlyBoss website (www.flyboss.com.au) contains a large amount of information for woolgrowers on best practice flystrike control and is supported by regular Facebook updates, a fortnightly ParaBoss newsletter and a regular article in Beyond the Bale. Training for chemical retailers to ensure woolgrowers are receiving accurate and consistent messages about best practice chemical treatment use to prevent flystrike is also under development. MORE INFORMATION The presentations from the event are all available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/ flystrikeRnDupdate Hear more about the Forum in Episode 51 of AWI’s The Yarn podcast at www.wool.com/podcast The 115 industry stakeholders at the 2018 Breech Flystrike RD&E Technical Update in July.
In the Shops - September 2018