5 April 1996

EAEalert is urged

SHEEP producers are urged to be extra vigilant in controlling enzootic abortion, given that EAE increased by a quarter last year.

Chris Lewis of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency says most aborted material sent for diagnosis is currently from the south-west. He stresses the best way to prevent lamb loss is to identify the cause of infection before a single abortion triggers an abortion storm. EAE, commonest cause of infectious abortion, can be diagnosed by lab examination of aborted lambs and cleansings. It is possible to cut abortion numbers by injecting ewes still to lamb with a long-acting preparation of tetracycline.

Consider a second injection 10-14 days later when lambing is spread out. This is a short-term measure to give more live lambs, writes Scottish Agricultural College VI vet Alistair Greig in Signets Beef and Sheep Notes. He urges producers to seek vet advice for longer-term control.

Cleansings should be collected and buried or incinerated.

An Intervet sheep abortion advice line is available on (0345-573747).