The recent discovery of a stray sheep, near Mulligan’s Flat in the ACT, with an estimated five years’ growth of wool, weighing a record breaking 40.45 kg, is timely reminder that good fencing is vital to successful livestock production.
Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager, Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland, said whilst the sheep has garnered world-wide fame and public admiration for its survival and record-beating fleece weight, the attention should also be focused on how the sheep strayed.
“Without knowing the full circumstances surrounding the sheep’s predicament, it is very likely the sheep got out of its paddock due to poor fencing, or worse still, a gate left wide open,” Mr Rowland said.
“Adequate, fit-for-purpose and well maintained fencing should be front and centre in every producer’s biosecurity plan, because fences do lot more than just keep your stock from straying.
“Fencing plays a vital role in protecting your own stock from other stray livestock which can bring in new diseases, pests and weeds.
“Fencing can be used to protect your water and feed sources and can be used to establish weed barriers and quarantine zones for new stock.
“Well maintained fencing is also critical in protecting your stock from feral and wild animals which can attack your livestock and also act as disease carriers.
“All up, there are a multitude of reasons to have good fencing, beyond just keeping your sheep from straying and growing a record breaking fleece,” Mr Rowland said.