Sheep health data go digital

Verity Gilbertson, Project Officer — Digital Value Chain, Integrity Systems Company

Valuable animal health and disease information provided by the National Sheep Health Monitoring Project (NSHMP) is now only a mouse click away, with access available via the online carcase feedback system Livestock Data Link (LDL).

Around 7000 producers nationally are able to access animal health information through LDL, and 2737 Victorian property identification codes (PICs) have been provided with information.

The NSHMP, which commenced in 2007, monitors sheep carcases for animal health conditions that reduce profit across the value chain through productivity losses or increases in meat processing wastage. The new, streamlined access to NSHMP data provides rapid and timely information to producers to help fight the estimated $116 million loss to industry incurred annually as a result of the diseases and other health conditions monitored by the NSHMP.

LDL was released to producers by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in 2015 to enable analysis of carcase performance. Results are linked to a library of solutions on addressing non-compliant issues on farm. As Victorian processors bring this feedback online, more information on carcase performance will become available in the coming months about carcase performance.

The animal health reports available in LDL provide information on the number of animals processed, the numbers inspected and the total number of health conditions observed (see Figure 1). All of these conditions have fact sheets or 'Solutions to Feedback' linked to them in LDL. These provide producers with easy-to-understand information that explains the cause of a health condition and, importantly, how to address the condition on farm. Over time, these reports will be improved to increase their capability and functionality.

A graphic from Animal Health Australia, which shows over 548 propertise inspected, 636 sheep were killed and 78 instances of health conditions.

Figure 2 is an example report showing the carcase compliance information that may be available through LDL (depending on your processor).

Meat and Livestock Australia's carcase analysis report, showing 79 per cent comply to weight and fat regulations.

LDL also has the ability to link carcase and animal feedback to individual animals who have an individual National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) device. Making NSHMP data available through LDL is a collaborative initiative between MLA and Animal Health Australia on behalf of the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and Wool Producers Australia.

To see if you have any data available in LDL, use your NLIS credentials to log on to

For assistance, please contact the NLIS database helpdesk on 1800 654 743.

For more information on LDL, please go to Livestock Data Link on MLA.

Page last updated: 03 Jul 2020