16 June 1995

Aujeszkys in NI

THE first confirmed outbreak of Aujeszkys disease in sheep in Ireland has been reported.

The disease affected 29 sheep in Northern Ireland at the turn of the year, according to a report in the Veterinary Record. The animals, part of a flock of 160 newly-shorn pregnant ewes, were housed next to pigs, with shared ventilation.

The pigs are believed to have excreted the virus, although they showed no clinical symptoms. The report says most of the sheep were probably infected by the virus entering through skin abrasions acquired at shearing.

Five cats on the same farm also died after eating part of the carcass of one infected sheep.

Control was achieved by vaccinating the pigs and then separating them from the sheep.