Vaccination as an integral part of the industry-accepted Five Point Lameness Reduction Plan can help you reduce significantly the number of lame sheep in your flock.

With a concerted effort you can actually make some quite rapid improvements. 

Developed by the independent research organisation FAI Farms, the Five Point Plan is now delivering substantial improvements in flocks that have implemented it. Once lameness is under control you will have a more productive and healthy flock.

1. Understand the principle

The Five Point Plan involves culling persistently lame sheep to build disease resilience throughout the flock, reducing the infection challenge on the farm and improving sheep immunity through vaccination.


2. Getting started

You can implement the Five Point Plan at any time, but a great time to start is post weaning. This reduces the chances of affected sheep carrying and spreading disease to other ewes and lambs the following spring.


3. Identify your system weaknesses

Use the MSD Animal Health Lameness Control Planner to pinpoint any lameness management weaknesses. Here the farm is doing well with Avoid and Vaccination (score of 4 out of 5), but should now focus on Cull, Treat and Quarantine to get lameness problems under control. Ask your vet or SQP for help.


4. Know what you are dealing with

Ask your vet for help to diagnose the cause of any lameness in the flock. You can’t find the solution if you are not clear on the problem.



5a. Treat any lame sheep appropriately

Catch sheep within three days of going lame, seek veterinary advice so you are treating them correctly with the right drug for the lameness issue on your particular farm.


5b.  Cull repeat offenders

Lame ewes spread disease so an aggressive culling policy should be considered in the first year of controlling lameness. If a ewe is lame more than twice she should be culled.


5c.  Avoid the spread of infection

The bacteria that cause lameness problems spread easily from foot-to-foot via the ground. Use hydrated lime around handling areas and high traffic situations around feed troughs at pasture.


5d. Quarantine incoming animals

Bought in replacement ewes and rams present a risk of introducing new lameness infections – work with your vet to draw up an appropriate quarantine protocol and consider footbathing on arrival.


5e.  Vaccinate on a whole flock basis

Carry out routine vaccination with    FOOTVAX® to coincide with periods of high disease risk such as at winter housing. Discuss the most appropriate vaccination protocol with your vet and follow the product usage instructions.


6. Avoid routine foot trimming

Routine foot trimming has been shown to spread infection via the hoof shears and can delay recovery.


Watch the 5 Point Lameness Reduction Plan video


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FOOTVAX® is only available from your animal health product prescriber or veterinary surgeon from whom advice should be sought. Footvax contains ten strains of inactivated Dichelobacter nodosus with an oil adjuvant. Legal category: POM-VPS. Footvax is the property of Intervet International B.V. or affiliated companies or licensors and is protected by copyrights, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Copyright © 2016 Intervet International B.V. All rights reserved.
Further information is available from: MSD Animal Health, Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 7AJ. Tel: 01908 685685  Ÿ Ÿ
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