At times sheep are subject to dramatic loss in body condition due to reduced feed intake. This is most common during drought.
As animals lose condition, their general health, fertility and ability to rear a lamb suffers. There is also a substantial decline in carcase and wool value.
Animals in extremely poor condition will not have sufficient body reserves to withstand mustering, yarding, transport or sale.
They are weak and at risk of death under physically demanding conditions or stress, such as in very cold or very hot weather.
Community standards dictate that animals should not be allowed to reach such a poor state of condition. It is also illegal.
This document provides clear, practical guidelines on how to assess sheep in poor condition, and on making decisions about the management of these animals.