24 Dec 2015

Dogs should be treated for sheep measles

8:25 pm on 24 December 2015

Townies who plan taking their dog into the country over the holiday period should make sure they are treated for sheep measles, says Ovis Management.

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Ovis Management is the meat industry company responsible for education and awareness of sheep measles.

Project manager Dan Lynch said dogs became infected by eating raw sheep or goats meat and spread a tapeworm through their faeces.

Mr Lynch said an infection can result in large numbers of lambs having to be destroyed.

"It's really important that people taking dogs out of town make sure they're treated for sheep measles before going out on to sheep pasture.

Urban people need to make sure dogs are treated 48 hours before they go on to farm pasture, or else they should be left at home, he said.

"One of the aspects of sheep measles is that the dogs contaminate the pasture when they defecate if the dog is carrying a tapeworm. That tape worm sheds hundreds of thousands of eggs a day onto pasture and those eggs will spread over quite a distance with time.

"The eggs can live up to four to six months and you end up with sheep becoming infected...and when lambs are sent for processing they're found to be heavily infected with ovis infection as it's known in the meat plant and we will have lambs being condemned."