Preventing footrot in your sheep

Prevention is by thorough examination, footbathing and movement control.

Damage control is minimising the effect by isolation and checking all new sheep until removed or sheep go through spring with no sign of footrot.

Introducing an infected sheep or mob is bad enough but to allow it to spread footrot to others or all mobs is disaster. Treat all new and stray sheep as risks, keep them isolated, handle and visit them last and watch them carefully.




  1. Examine feet before buying
  2. Look for lameness and signs of treatment
  3. Footbath on arrival
  4. Isolate until sheep go through spring with no sign of footrot.


  1. Check fences
  2. Don't use road for 7 days after other sheep
  3. Footbath after use if there is risk
  4. Stop sheep straying

Strays from neighbours

  1. Check fences
  2. Catch and examine strays promptly
  3. Footbath and isolate infected mob if at risk

Stray in neighbours

  1. Ask neighbour not to return over fence
  2. Collect, check and footbath the stray
  3. Fix fences

Truck or saleyard

  1. Use clean truck
  2. Footbath on arrival
  3. Isolate until sheep go through spring with no sign of footrot.

Vendor declaration

Request the vendor supply a vendor declaration form that the sheep and property are free of virulent footrot.

Vendor declarations are a formal, industry-recognised method of providing a safe way to buy and sell. They reduce the risk of buying virulent footrot and allow the purchaser to return sheep (with full refund of purchase and transport costs) if they are confirmed infected with virulent footrot within 14 days.

Vendor declarations are also available from Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) offices and stock agents.

Footrot within the community

Footrot is a disease that can affect a whole community, not only by spreading disease, but by creating unnecessary ill-feeling and even hostility between neighbours and friends. This can be avoided by:

  • recognising that anybody, even the best farmers, can be unfortunate enough to have their flocks contract footrot
  • offering support and encouragement rather than isolation and criticism
  • immediately notifying neighbours of an outbreak
  • keeping neighbours and the community informed of progress with eradication
  • an open, honest and caring approach; footrot is a curable disease of sheep not a communicable disease of humans
  • working together as a community to solve a problem.
Page last updated: 07 Jan 2021