In early 2012 our situation changed, as we had a reported positive Ovine Johnes’ test. Of the 17 samples submitted in the last 2 years (50 animals represented in each sample), we have had 1 positive and 1 suspect reading (still waiting on results). There is no right of appeal or right to question the testing, even though 2 labs reported differing results. We are now classified as “Tested low level infected”.
With this bombshell, we have had to re-visit our future in the Dorper industry.
Our plan for the future is detailed below.
In Western Australia we have 2 independent flocks of sheep.
1) Stud flock – this flock is where we have all our breeding ewes, some recipient ewes and any lambs over 6 months of age up until Feb 2012. We have decided to lamb down all the stud ewes and recipient ewes, vaccinate the lambs and then slaughter all the adult ewes. We recently sent off the first consignment of older purebred ewes to slaughter. They ranged in age from 5 – 10 year old and averaged 67kgs liveweight.
2) Recipient flock– this flock is where we implant our embryos and in 2012 consisted of 1000 plus pregnant recipients. This flock was TESTED NEGATIVE and has subsequently been vaccinated with Gudair. We will continue to conduct PFC testing and vaccinate all progeny.
In October 2012 we plan to continue to have our ANNUAL PRODUCTION SALE -150 Rams – 200 ewes.
All animals in this sale will have negative PFC tests performed prior to the sale and, while this is not a 100% guarantee, it will be as good a guarantee as ANYBODY in the sheep industry can provide, given the quality of the available tests and the fact that very few sheep studs have undertaken the Market Assurance Program. Kaya (WA) will be able to provide an Animal Health Statement with 2 ABC points, which is the equivalent of any untested flock in WA.
In 2012 KAYA (NSW) was established. This Dorper and White Dorper flock originated from embryos collected in WA and transferred into recipients in NSW. Our aim is to lamb down approx. 1000 embryo lambs in 2012 and we will commence sales in 2013.
The embryos were collected from Dorper and White Dorper ewes that met the following criteria
a) Type 4 or Type 5 ewes (95% Type 5)
b) Were ranked in our top 10% of ewes in Lambplan
c) Were ranked in our top 10% of ewes for saleable progeny at Kaya based on type
d) Were at the top end of Kaya genetics for WEC (Worm egg counts).
We are very confident that these embryo lambs will provide an excellent basis for our Dorper and White Dorper stud in NSW.