Flystrike warning for South East sheep producers

South East sheep producers are being urged to regularly check stock and take preventative measures with increasing reports of flystrike impacting livestock in the region.

District Vet Kelli Griffin said the wet end to summer is creating perfect conditions for blowflies.

“We are seeing many cases of flystrike across the southeast, with ideal warm and moist seasonal conditions across much of the region,” said Kelli Griffin.

“Flystrike occurs when a blowfly lays eggs on the skin of an animal, with the resulting emerging larvae (maggots) creating a painful open wound.”

Sheep with smaller strikes may show signs of irritation such as scratching, leg stamping and biting.

Advanced cases of strike generally have large wounds that are wet and dark with visible maggots present on the animal. Large strikes can result in depression, weight loss, and stock becoming separated from the mob or laying down and eventually dying.

The advice to producers is to monitor sheep closely, especially during high-risk fly periods, and treat struck sheep quickly. Controlling the risk of flystrike leads to better health and welfare outcomes for your sheep as well as more money in your pocket.

“Treatment of affected sheep is imperative to prevent losses and poor animal welfare,” said Kelli Griffin.

“Chemical control can also be used to treat or prevent flystrike. As flies can develop resistance to chemicals, it is best to use an integrated management plan rather than relying on chemical alone.”

“If you are treating struck animals, remember to check that the product kills maggots rapidly and is therefore suitable for treatment, not just prevention of flystrike”

Management strategies can also play an important part of strike prevention. Control dags by treating underlying causes such as worms or bacterial diarrhoea. Think about the timing of shearing and crutching.

More information regarding treatment and prevention of flystrike can be found on the LLS website:

Or by contacting your local District Veterinarian.

Media Contact: Chris Finley on

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