WAFarmers has welcomed the announcement that a new strain specific footrot vaccine for sheep, developed by Sydney University, has been approved for use after months of negotiation.
Since the previous footrot vaccine, Coopers’ Footvax, was banned in Australia in 2008, sheep owners have struggled to control and eradicate footrot. The only preventative practices available are foot paring/foot bathing, antibiotic treatment under specific conditions and the culling of flocks under a destocking regime.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) last week issued an emergency permit to Treidlia Biovet, a vaccine manufacturer based in Sydney, for the use and supply of the Custom Footrot R-Pilus Vaccine for a period of six months, concluding on July 30, 2015.
WAFarmers Wool Council President Ed Rogister said the decision is a great first step for Western Australian sheep producers.
“Footrot is a serious and contagious disease affecting flocks in most states, including WA.
“Once established in a flock, footrot will persist if a vaccine is not available to assist in the control and eradication of the disease from the flock,” Mr Rogister said.
WAFarmers has been instrumental in obtaining the approval for the strain specific footrot vaccines by bringing the issue to the attention of the Federal Government, including the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Working in conjunction with the Government, and with the support of Senator Chris Back and MP Christian Porter, WAFarmers was able to get the APVMA to approve the emergency permit which is the beginning of a more permanent solution for the strain specific vaccines,” Mr Rogister said.
WAFarmers will continue to lobby government officials for a long-term solution for the strain specific footrot vaccines because the industry does not have a registered product available on the market.
“A minor use permit would help provide the certainty sheep producers need in their fight against this disease within the State.
“The targeted nature of these new footrot vaccines means moving to full registration is not a realistic option,” Mr Rogister said.
WAFarmers encourage anyone seeking further information on the vaccines to contact Kim Haywood at WAFarmers on (08) 9486 2100 or DAFWA on (08) 9368 3333.
Please direct all media requests to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Sophie Kilby on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].