Skip to content


Animal Health Australia (AHA) works with the sheep meat and wool industries to develop and implement national programs to safeguard the health of Australia’s sheep population.


See our Farm Biosecurity website for sheep property biosecurity information and associated documents.

Sheep producers should use the National Farm Biosecurity Reference Manual for Grazing Livestock Production on their properties.

As a sheep farmer, the best way to protect yourself from biosecurity risks is to keep diseases, pests and weeds off your property. Always insist on a properly completed National Sheep Health Declaration and National Vendor Declaration when purchasing or agisting stock, offering sheep for sale, and when mandated by interstate movement requirements.

The national sheep industry has taken a lead in defining its roles, responsibilities and strategic priorities in the Australian biosecurity system through developing the National Sheep Industry Biosecurity Strategy.


AHA manages the Sheep Health Project to reduce the financial impacts of endemic diseases and other production conditions on farm and supply chain productivity in Australia.

Sheep may be affected by Johne’s disease—see ovine Johne’s disease information and the National Johne’s Disease Project.

Ovine brucellosis (OB) is an infectious bacterial disease which causes infertility in infected rams, leading to low lambing percentages. As infected rams generally do not show any signs of ill health, OB is often overlooked and only becomes apparent when the damage is done. Ensure your property is free of OB by always buying rams from an OB accredited flock.

The single biggest threat to the sheep industry’s sustainability is an outbreak of an emergency animal disease. The Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia have implemented a series of animal health policies at state and national levels to guard against threats to the industry’s biosecurity.

See emergency disease preparedness, including AUSVETPLANs for various diseases.


Australia’s National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) (identifies animals so that we can trace them quickly in an emergency. It applies to cattle, sheep, pigs and goats. If there is an outbreak of an emergency disease (eg foot and mouth disease), we can quickly trace back to identify animals that might already be infected, and trace forward to identify animals that are at the greatest risk of infection.


Read about the development and progress of the Australian standards and guidelines for sheep on AHA’s Animal welfare standards website.


Sheep are monitored for a number of disease conditions around the country in the National Sheep Health Monitoring Project.

Related links


Page reviewed: 02/07/2020