24 March 1998
Swayback threatens lambs after mild winter

THIS year could be the worst since 1988 for swayback in sheep, according to Dr Neville Suttle of the Moredun Foundation.

The affliction is caused by a copper shortage, which pregnant ewes pass on to the unborn lamb. Mild weather makes the outbreak more severe because less supplementary feed containing copper has been given.

The average number of cases each year is 11. Some 53 were recorded after a mild winter 10 years ago.

Swayback makes it difficult for lambs to co-ordinate their hind legs and some are unable to stand at all.

  • The Scotsman 24/03/98 page 28