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Australian Wool Innovation Limited
Emily King
Manager, Woolgrower Education & Capacity Building
ARTICLES >> Livestock Case Studies

Ewe Turn: Using Genetics to tackle fly strike

Posted by Bestprac on Sep 17 2013

Breech and bodystrike can be major issues for pastoral wool growers. Bestprac has released another Innovation Case Study focusing on using objective and subjective genetic tools to remove wrinkle.

The case study features David Thompson and his family from Katanning WA. 

Download case study

Case Study Background:

David Thompson runs ‘Moojepin’, a 2000 hectare property near Katanning in Western Australia, with his wife Sue and son Hamish. The Thompsons have a 2,700 head breeding flock and produce seedstock Multi-Purpose Merino (MPM) rams.

Having faced a few years of particularly bad breech and bodystrike on his property, David decided to take a radical approach to protect both his flock and the long term profitability of his business.

"The tipping point for us was in 1994 when warm, humid weather in autumn saw a large number of our sheep get bodystrike, including younger ones in good condition. We were lambing at the time and every day we’d find more flyblown ewes. This made managing the problem even more difficult and stressful than it normally would have."
David decided to tackle the problem by removing the wrinkle in his sheep that make them susceptible to flystrike. Using both visual selection methods and genetic tools, and prioritising key traits, he has achieved some impressive results.

Download case study

Q&A Webinar

Bestprac coordinated a webinar to discuss the features of the recently released case study, ‘Ewe Turn- Using Genetics to Tackle Flystrike.’ Read the case study and watch the video.

Geoff Lindon, Australian Wool Innovations Program Manager for Productivity and Animal Welfare, was online to provide an overview of the main features of the case study, as well as insight into Australian Wool Innovations position on tackling flystrike. This was followed by a question and answer session with Geoff, where participants could have their questions answered.

Bestprac recorded this webinar, which is available to watch by clicking this link.

A report with all of the webinar participant’s questions, including the answers, is also available and can be found here.


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Last changed: Nov 13 2013



srs breeder By John on Nov 01 2013
This is a great approach to tackling fly strike that really works, but how do you overcome the average sheep producers' ingnorance and narrow mindedness about breeding these sort of sheep?

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