Call for sheep poo for ground-breaking research
Posted on Monday, 16 October 2023
Beef + Lamb New Zealand is calling on farmers to take part in a ground-breaking Facial Eczema research project by collecting sheep poo. The three-year study will help B+LNZ understand how widespread Facial Eczema is in New Zealand. It will help fill gaps in the understanding of its prevalence and whether a warming climate is having an effect on its distribution. The disease, associated with a toxin-producing fungus, affects pasture grazing livestock across the country and there is no cure. The toxin can cause permanent liver damage, resulting in photosensitivity and sunburn. If the animal survives, its production will be limited for life.
In order to get an accurate picture of Facial Eczema from every corner of New Zealand, B+LNZ is looking for 350 farmers, 22 each from 16 regions around New Zealand, to collect samples from October to May each year for three years. B+LNZ want samples collected across New Zealand, regardless of whether farms have experienced Facial Eczema in the past. B+LNZ will provide instructions, sampling kits and cover the costs to courier samples to the laboratory. Farmers can express their interest in participating in the research study by registering their details on this form.