Following last year’s successful pilot project at Kelso and Dingwall ram sales, SAC’s caseous lymphadenitis monitoring scheme is now available nationwide.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly at Easy Sheep, SAC sheep health schemes manager Catriona Ritchie said the new monitoring scheme would be targeted at farmers selling breeding sheep to other flocks.

“The pilot was successful last year, with many ram breeders using it to add an extra level of health status to their stock.”

To qualify for monitored status sheep will have to be isolated from all other stock on the farm for at least 12 weeks and blood tested twice, with tests taking place at least six weeks apart.

“Also the isolation group must contain at least six animals for the entire period of isolation and animals must be a minimum of six months old at the start of the monitoring process.

The second test should also take place at least three weeks before the date of the first sale.”

Testing of blood samples will cost £8, with samples taken by farmers’ own vets at additional cost.

“Any sheep vaccinated with either an autogenous or proprietary CLA vaccine will produce a positive result in the blood test,” warned Miss Ritchie.