1 August 1997

Check bought-in lamb health

HEALTH status of replacement ewe lambs bought at forthcoming sales must be checked carefully before they enter flocks.

"With annual ewe lamb sales about to start, maedi visna, enzootic abortion, scab and worms could be brought into flocks along with replacements," says SAC vet Sandy Clark.

He warns that maedi visna – which causes respiratory disease, nervous disorders, loss of condition and reduces lambing percentages – has increased in prevalence.

To cut the risk of introducing MV into the flock, Dr Clark suggests sourcing replacements from MV accredited or monitored flocks.

"Similarly ewes can be sourced from flocks registered with the Premium Health Scheme set up to control enzootic abortion – a disease which can cause losses of 50% when introduced to a previously uninfected flock."

He also urges producers to protect flocks against scab.

"Any one undipped sheep at a sale will reinfect all of the others even if they have been dipped."

Bought-in replacements should also be dosed for worms.

"It is likely that sheep will have been kept on in-bye land where the parasite burden will be heavy."

and high numbers of worms could be imported onto what was formerly clean grazing."