Hobby farmers have been warned about a rise in cases of footrot in sheep and goats in Menangle and Leppington.
Greater Sydney Local Land Services veterinarian Dr Aziz Chowdhury said two of the affected had been purchased online.
“While it might be more convenient than going to a sale yard, many of these web sites do not advise farmers of the risks involved or their legal responsibilities,” he said.
“As a result, notifiable diseases such as footrot can spread rapidly without detection.
“Footrot is highly contagious has the ability to cause serious complications for animals, owners and surrounding properties.”
Dr Chowdhury said the spike in cases in Greater Sydney was also due to farmers purchasing sheep and goats from neighbouring regions impacted by prolonged wet weather conditions.
“All sellers and buyers of stock have a legal obligation to know the responsibilities of owning stock.
“Likewise any landholder, land manager, agent or veterinarian who suspect footrot is present in a mob is legally obliged to notify a District Veterinarian within 48hrs.”
Dr Chowdhury said Greater Sydney biosecurity staff had worked quickly to limit the spread of the disease and trace the source.
“Properties diagnosed with footrot are placed under quarantine and a plan put in place to eradicate the infection.
“This can include destocking or foot bathing, paring and inspecting sheep until the disease eradicated,” he said.
Symptoms of footrot include lameness in sheep or goats, inflammation between the digits and under running of the sole and heel of the foot.
To report signs of footrot, call Greater Sydney Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 or the Emergency Animal Disease hotline on 1800 675 888.
For further information visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries footrot fact sheet.