4 Jun 2011

Deadly sheep disease back in Tasmania

12:39 pm on 4 June 2011

A deadly sheep disease has re-emerged in Tasmania just as farmers are enjoying record high wool and meat prices.

Ovine Johne's disease is estimated to have infected about a quarter of the state's sheep.

The water-borne bacteria affects the intestinal tract, causing death through severe malnutrition.

Meat inspector Chris Cocker says the disease was first discovered about 10 years ago, but years of drought gave the state a reprieve.

The ABC reports the disease has forced the cancellation of the state shearing finals, held annually at the Campbell Town show.