Local Land Services (LLS) has welcomed a new vet in Narrandera.
Sophie Hemley (pictured) has already worked for LLS Western and is keen to make her mark in the Narrandera Shire.
“I was working with the Western Local Land Services in Broken Hill for the last year. It was really interesting – Western’s about 40 per cent of the state and there’s only about two vets out there,” Ms Hemley said.
“I did a lot of travelling and I had a big case load which was great, but I’m excited to come to this more inland country with a bit more diversity in farming enterprises.”
According to recently departed private vet Clayton Smith, more farmers in the area are taking advantage of the services that LLS vets provide.
“We’re government vets, so we focus on herd and flock medicine and disease investigations. We’re obviously there for disease surveillance for exotics and notifiables [notifiable diseases], like virulent footrot, which is a topic that is pretty on the buzz right now,” Ms Hemley said.
“We also do things like health certificates for exports and also animal health and chemical residue certificates for people purchasing and selling properties and that type of thing. We offer general animal health advice for livestock producers.”
Ms Hemley is part of the process of the export market and covers both domestic and feral animals, such as goats.
“There is a fairly big industry for goats now. Out west where I was previously there was a lot of people who made some really good money and invested the money back into assets on the property.
“There’s still a really big market for those goats. So it was a great opportunity for those producers. For a bit of hard work for a few days trapping them it’s great.
“They do have a fairly large environmental impact, the goats. Especially when you’re going into drier times, they’re eating and competing with your livestock, your sheep production. It’s good to be able to get rid of their environmental impact and make money off them.”
A lot of what Ms Hemley does involves being a part of a larger network of vets and DPI workers who work hard to ensure Australia’s biosecurity safety.
Together with farmers, they provide so much of the data and labour to ensure that Australia’s agriculture has an international reputation for being of high quality.
“We have a national database, this thing called LHMS, which is our health and bio-security NSW user.
“It will tell me if anyone’s had any diagnosis of any notifiables or exotics. In NSW there’s so many district vets and biosecurity officers working tirelessly to make sure everything’s clean and green and we’ve got good disease surveillance.
“We would be in a very different situation if we didn’t have those on the ground people to check the disease prevalence.”