Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Says Singling Out Sheep Will Save 1.3 Million from Lameness

14.10.2008
New research from the University of Warwick published today in the journal BMC Veterinary Research suggests that a simple cheap individual approach to the care of sheep could slash the incidence of lameness in UK sheep saving 1.3 million sheep from lameness

Around 1.6 million of the UK’s sheep are afflicted with lameness and 80% of that is due to the disease footrot. Footrot is infectious, caused by the bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus. Previous studies have shown that the rapid treatment of a sheep with footrot increases its rate of recovery and decreases transmission of the infection to other sheep yet lameness figures in many flocks seem to persist around the 10% level and 80% of that lameness is due to footrot.

The Warwick researchers wanted to find out why the disease seemed to persist at that level when they had found that cheap treatments are available that can produce a rapid recovery. The researchers first looked if sheep farmers were facing problems in identifying lame sheep.

Warwick researchers Professor Laura Green and Dr Jasmeet Kaler asked more than 230 farmers and sheep specialists to watch video clips of individual sheep and then say whether they thought the sheep was lame or not. They were then asked about when they would catch the sheep for inspection and treatment, or whether they would wait until more sheep in the flock displayed a similar severity of lameness.

In fact they found that almost all the study participants correctly identified lame sheep in need of further investigation, eg those with an uneven posture, a shorter stride in one leg or a slight nodding of the head as they moved. However they found a surprising split on how farmers then treated lame sheep. The researchers did find that 50% of farmers did move to catch, investigate and treat individual lame sheep within 72 hours of them exhibiting lameness however the remaining 50% took significant longer to respond leading to increased opportunities for the infection to spread. When farmers did act quickly disease rates fell dramatically and overall flock lames fell from around 10% to 2% of the flock.

Why then do 50% farmers and sheep specialists take longer to respond? The researchers believe this is simply down to different philosophies of flock management. Some farmers, put their efforts into more interventions treating all or a large section of a flock at the same time, other farmers might not have the right equipment or skilled dogs to isolate and catch individual sheep on a regular basis. Now that this research has identified the value of early identification and treatment of footrot it is hoped those farmers will ensure that they have the resources to intervene quickly to regularly inspect and treat individual lame sheep

Professor Laura Green said “Our study indicates that farmers have the skills to follow the current advice about how to minimise lameness in sheep and prevent the spread of footrot among their flock. They should inspect – and treat appropriately – the first mildly lame sheep in a group within one to three days of it first being lame"

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/research_says_singling

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>