Footrot is a contagious bacterial disease in sheep.

It can cause significant economic loss to producers through reducing:

  • ewe fertility
  • wool growth
  • growth rates
  • sheep sales.

Controlling or eradicating footrot is very costly.

Footrot is a notifiable disease and must be reported immediately. See the reporting animal disease page for instructions.

When a flock has footrot

A flock that has been declared to be infected with virulent footrot will have a Quarantine Order placed on it to prevent the spread. Orders are issued under South Australian Livestock Act 1997.

When a flock is under an Order, sheep:

  • cannot be sold to other graziers
  • must not be sold in a public market
  • must not be allowed to stray onto public roads or neighboring properties.

Sheep with footrot can be sold directly to an abattoir for slaughter.

Footrot detection trial underway

Biosecurity SA is speeding up the detection of footrot through a statewide 12 month trial into the cutting edge lamp medicated isothermal amplification or LAMP diagnostic process. LAMP is a portable diagnostic technology that uses a single tube technique for the amplification of DNA.

LAMP is an on-farm test that can give a diagnosis within 20 to 30 minutes. Results from currently available laboratory test processes can take several weeks.

As part of the trial, Biosecurity SA Animal Health officers will compare the LAMP process to other existing disease technologies.

While this current trial focuses on footrot LAMP can also be used for other animal and plant disease detection, depending on the availability of suitable reagents.

For further information contact your nearest PIRSA Biosecurity SA Animal Health Officer.

Learn more about footrot

Page Last Reviewed: 03 Jan 2018
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