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Beyond the Bale : September November 2009
20 September -- November 2009 BEYOND THE BALE ANIMAL HEALTH SkintractionTM sheep on show Sheep treated with the experimental flystrike prevention treatment SkintractionTM were on public display for the first time at the National Merino Show and Sale in Dubbo, NSW, at the end of August. Presently undergoing further on-property trials, the intradermal technology uses sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) to reduce wrinkle and increase the bare area around the breech and tail of sheep. A compound in the same chemical group is the preferred active ingredient in varicose vein treatment in humans. SLS is also a common ingredient in household items such as toothpaste and shampoo. AWI continues to fund research by Cobbett Technologies into SkintractionTM. It is one of a raft of possible flystrike prevention alternatives. Clips are now commercially available through Leader Products and ongoing KEY POINTS l The SkintractionTM intradermal technology uses sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) to reduce wrinkle and increase the bare area around the breech and tail of sheep. l The application of SLS involves very little stress for the animal according to a CSIRO welfare assessment. research and development into breeding tools such as Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) are set to be released in coming weeks after final validation has been completed. SkintractionTM-treated animals were on show at Dubbo alongside their unmulesed and mulesed siblings. More than 1000 fine and medium wool Merino lambs across regional NSW have been treated with the intradermal technology to date. The application of SLS involves very little stress for the animal, according to a CSIRO welfare assessment. The formulation also contains the powerful local antiseptic, benzol alcohol. Together with SLS, it is placed into the skin of treated animals by air pressure using the Pulse Needlefree applicator. The same technology is used to vaccinate US troops in war zones and is commonly used to vaccinate livestock in the US. During 2008 SkintractionTM field trials, Cobbett Technologies trialled the optimal settings for the Pulse applicator, with various pressure, volume, tube diameter and spacing variations. This year, field trials are exploring the best patterns of application around the breech and tail of animals. Results so far have been very encouraging, according to stud Merino breeders Stuart and David McBurnie of Gilgandra, NSW. "As far as the breech is concerned, I would defy anyone to say this technology Breech of unmulesed sheep (left) and sheep treated with SkintractionTM (right). is not working. From last year I could see the application on the tail needed some refining and this has now happened with sheep treated this year. It is genuinely encouraging," David says. However, science cannot be rushed, says Cobbett Technologies director Peter St Vincent-Welch. Registration of SkintractionTM relies on approval by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. More information: www.wool.com/grow The Pulse Needlefree applicator that uses air pressure to send the SLS formulation into the skin of the treated animal.
June August 2009