Last year the Farm Animal Welfare Council put forward an opinion on lameness in sheep which recommended the prevalence of lameness should be reduced to 5% or less by March 2016 and to 2% or less by March 2021.
The opinion suggested the government should also work with the industry to develop a national strategy to reduce sheep lameness.
A five-step strategy has been developed which has been shown to cut lameness levels by up to half in the first year. The areas include: culling badly or repeatedly affected animals, quarantining incoming animals, treating clinical cases early, avoiding spread at gathering and handling and vaccination.
Based on these five key areas, trial work by FAI Farms, as well as other independent farms, has found that a lameness level of 2% is achievable, but every point in the plan is important to follow.
It’s for this reason that Farmers Weekly, in association with the National Sheep Association, is launching the Stamp Out Lameness Campaign. The campaign will look at the five-step approach sheep farmers can take to tackle lameness on their farm.
[The survey has now closed. See the results on our sheep lameness page]
For more on the NSA Sheep Event
See our Sheep 2012 page