Sheep lice cause major economic loss to the Australian sheep industry by:
- reducing the quality and quantity of wool produced
- requiring chemical treatment that adds a huge costs to the wool industry.
The SA Sheep Lice program aims to minimize the spread of lice through saleyards and to increase awareness about lice detection, control and eradication.
Penalties for lousy sheep
It is an offence under the Livestock Regulations 2013 to present lice infested sheep at a market, and to allow lice infested sheep to stray. Owners of sheep that have lice detected at a market may be issued on-the-spot fines of $315. Repeat offenders can be prosecuted.
Pens of lousy sheep at markets are marked with signs indicating lice were detected. There is no restriction on the sale of lousy sheep. There is no guarantee that pens without signs are free of lice.
Sheep owners can also be fined if they allow lousy sheep to stray.
Anyone reporting stray lousy sheep must:
- yard the sheep
- confirm the presence of lice
- provide information that will assist to identify the owner
- contact Animal Health Advisors to arrange inspection and take evidence for issuing a fine.
The SA Sheep Lice program is funded by the SA sheep industry through the Sheep Industry Fund.