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AWI releases information on Flystrike development progress

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Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has recently released the updated Managing Breech Flystrike Manual, AWI Breech Flystrike RD&E Program – Improving Lifetime Welfare Presentation (November 2017) and Breech Flystrike Strategy 2017/18 – 2021/22.

These developments follow more than a decade of investment across a diverse range of research projects aiming to protect the Australian sheep flock from flystrike. As the Australian wool industry research, development and marketing body, AWI has invested $59 million in R&D animal health and welfare since 2001, including $35 million specifically in breech flystrike prevention.

This work includes genetic and genomic research and field trials across sheep genotypes, mapping the sheep blowfly genome, odour identification trials, pre- and post-operative analgesia and novel field trials using liquid nitrogen and laser technologies. The full spectrum of research can be seen at

Reflecting ongoing grower priorities in animal health and welfare, AWI remains committed to ongoing research, development and commercialisation of the outcomes of AWI investment in flystrike. The presentations from the bi-annual Flystrike R&D updates since 2008 are available at AWI website.

The updated and new documents released by the RD&E team at AWI aim to inform the industry of the issue of breech flystrike and the work being done by AWI in this area. The Managing Breech Flystrike manual details the complete scope of breech flystrike in the Australian wool industry. The document outlines the risk factors, current and developing management practices, and the AWI strategy for the future of breech flystrike management. Flystrike is a key area for AWI RD&E and by reducing the risk of flystrike, benefits will be seen in the health and wellbeing of sheep, the people that work with them, and the industry as a whole. The manual contains valuable information for both woolgrowers and the general public alike, and provides accessible information for those interested and invested in the management of breech flystrike.

The manual is part of AWI’s continuous effort in the management of breech flystrike and is part of the overarching Breech Flystrike Strategy. To summarise this strategy, an easy to read strategy plan has been developed to provide information of AWI’s key pillars of investment. The intent of the document is to inform woolgrowers, stakeholders and the public of the key aims of the AWI Breech Flystrike Strategy.

The five areas of investment for the AWI Breech Flystrike Strategy are:

  • Breeding and Selection
  • Breech Modification Alternatives
  • Improved Management Practices
  • Wool Industry Training and Engagement
  • Supply Chain Engagement

Each area of investment is informed by a diverse range of professional input and sound scientific investigation. The overarching aim of the Strategy is to innovate and commercialise long-term sustainable solutions to reduce the risk of breech flystrike whilst continuing to improve current management practises.

To accompany this strategy, a 70-page Breech Flystrike RD&E Program – Improving Lifetime Welfare Presentation (November 2017) has been developed to update the detail in each area of investment. This informative document explains key areas of breech flystrike investigation, current project and trial findings and the resources available to woolgrowers. This “master” presentation is reduced to suit the purpose and time available and has been presented at a range of recent forums, field days and workshops.

Flystrike is AWI’s top RD&E priority. AWI will continue to invest in areas of research and development to reduce the risk of flystrike and fund extension programs for the industry uptake of innovative practices.

Source: AWI


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