New committee steers footrot management

Incoming chair of the NSW Footrot Steering Committee Derek Schoen, aims to improve footrot management outcomes in sheep flocks across the state

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has announced the new steering committee which will provide ongoing oversight and strategic direction to the NSW Footrot Management Program.

Incoming chair of the NSW Footrot Steering Committee (FSC), Derek Schoen, said the aim is to improve the outcomes of footrot management in sheep flocks across the state.

“Committee members have demonstrated a strategic approach to farming, an ability to resolve competing priorities and practical knowledge in dealing with footrot,” Mr Schoen said.

“Their skills and expertise will help inform the NSW Footrot Strategic Plan and provide advice to the NSW Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), who has responsibility for the footrot program.”

Technical advice and analysis to support a strategic approach to footrot management will be delivered by a newly reinstated Footrot Technical Committee, which last operated in 2009.

New FSC members joining Mr Schoen, a southern Riverina sheep producer and former NSW Farmers’ Association president, are sheep producers Scott Watkins (Finley), Craig Mitchell (Cooma), Will Martel (Wellington) and Jock Fletcher (Walcha), three Local Land Services representatives and a delegate of the CVO from NSW DPI.

NSW DPI senior veterinary officer, Amanda Walker, will serve as the executive officer.

Mr Schoen said the new committee will serve a three-year term and aims to build on the success of the NSW FSC, which was formed in 1988.

“By 2009, the whole of NSW was declared a Footrot Protected Area with virulent footrot prevalence of less than 1.0 per cent, which was one of the goals of the original strategic plan,” he said.

“The footrot program is recognised as a positive example of the results which can be achieved when industry and government work in partnership.

“We thank the outgoing chair and committee members for their commitment to the management of footrot in NSW.”

Information about footrot and its management is available from the NSW DPI website, https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/sheep/health and LLS.

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