Abortion and toxoplasmosis remain continuing threat to flock health

Many farmers are failing to recognise the threat abortion poses to their flock, according to Intervet Flockcheck 2006 results, revealed exclusively to Farmers Weekly at the Sheep Event.

Nationwide, of 283 flocks sampled, more than 80% tested positive for either enzootic abortion (EAE) or toxoplasmosis.

Rosemary Booth, Intervet’s vet adviser, said the results showed neither were in decline, despite effective vaccines being available.

Breaking down results, 55% flocks were positive for enzootic abortion, 64% toxoplasmosis and 36% were positive for both.

In keeping with previous year’s results, levels of infection in different UK areas were notably varied.

Of 72 flocks tested in Wales, 65% tested positive for EAE, 68% for toxoplasmosis and a staggering 42% for both.

Scotland fared slightly better:

Of flocks tested 50% tested positive for EAE and an equal number tested positive for toxoplasmosis, while 28% were recorded as having both.

In England, 164 flocks were tested, with 49% testing positive for EAE, 62% for toxoplasmosis and 34% for both.

Miss Booth also took the opportunity to remind farmers that both vaccines could be administered at the same time, significantly reducing the amount of labour needed to protect flocks.

* “So far this year production of Toxovax is progressing well,” added Ian Anderson, large animal product manager at Intervet.