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 New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>