New Stocks of Sheep Vaccine Offer Effective Relief from Footrot

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New Stocks of Sheep Vaccine Offer Effective Relief from Footrot
17/12/07

Sheep farmers can break free from the footrot cycle by implementing a whole-flock control programme of vaccination thanks to new supplies of a footrot vaccine.

Sheep farmers can break the footrot cycle by carrying out whole-flock vaccination.

Sheep being vaccinated with Footvax

Footrot is the most common cause of lameness amongst sheep and is one of the most important health and welfare issues facing British sheep farmers. The disease, which can result in reduced mobility, impaired fertility and reduced growth rates in lambs, is caused by two different bacterial infections: Fusobacterium necrophorum which infects the hoof space and Dichelobacter nodosus which causes subsequent infection in the foot itself.

Paul Williams MRCVS from Schering-Plough Animal Health states that, “Once footrot enters the flock, both animals and financial margins are likely to suffer. This is because sheep will lose body condition and rams will fail to perform properly. These factors can result in lower lambing percentages and higher mortality rates in lambs, which will generally be much smaller at birth due to their mother’s suffering.

“Ultimately, farm profits will be hit, not only by the loss of lambs and lower finishing weights, but also because of the additional costs associated with treating diseased animals, such as the administration of antibiotics and the time consuming process of walking sheep through expensive footbath products.”

New Stocks of Sheep Vaccine Offer Effective Relief from Footrot

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