Know How / Livestock diseases

Expert advice on identifying and treating livestock diseases such as BVD, Johne’s disease, leptospirosis in cattle, navel ill in calves, orf in sheep, watery mouth in lambs and swine fever in pigs. See the latest thinking on controlling parasitic diseases and worms such as liver fluke and lungworm.

Advice and tips


Glassers disease in pigs: Signs, treatment and prevention

Glassers disease is widespread in UK pig herds, and worldwide. It can cause blood poisoning and death, and is often associated with cases of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).…


Six-step guide to help sheep farmers cut parasite risk

A quarantine guide to help sheep farmers assess the potential risks to consider when bringing animals into a flock has been produced by the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep…


What is OPA and how can it be prevented or controlled?

Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) – or sometimes referred to as “Jaagsiekte” – is a potentially devastating disease to sheep flocks. One recent study suggested it could be the third most…


Sheep scab: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Sheep scab is a major threat to the sheep industry, impacting on growth rates and causing serious welfare implications. Its prevalence has increased in the past 20 years following its…

See all

Case studies


Housing and hygiene tweaks help cut cases of ewe mastitis

Improvements in management and housing on a Welsh sheep farm have helped cut mastitis rates by one-third. Mastitis had been a major cause of losses in Ryan Morris’ flock of…


5 farmer tips for setting up a TB isolation unit

Setting his farm up as a TB isolation unit (IU) has proved a successful business model for Cheshire farmer Ben Paterson. Mr Paterson, who runs Blackthorn Farm, Mobberly, buys three-to-six-week-old…


Steps farmers are taking to reduce bovine TB risk

Simple, inexpensive steps can cut TB risks by limiting cow and badger transmission. Sometimes, another pair of eyes is required to identify risks you may not notice. We speak to…


How a dairy farm is controlling mycoplasma using vaccination

Mycoplasma bovis is the number one cause of pneumonia in calves in the UK as well as causing mastitis and arthritis in older animals. It is difficult to treat and…

See all



Q&A: Guidance on avian flu with England's chief vet

As winter approaches migratory birds fly in, bringing the risk of avian flu in the UK. We ask the UK’s chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, about the disease and how…


Badger cull 'exit strategy' raises TB disease control fears

The government has confirmed it will no longer issue licences for intensive badger culling from 2022, as part of efforts to tackle bovine TB in England. And the practice will…


Next phase in Defra bovine TB strategy explained

After months in the making, the government has launched its latest consultation (PDF) on the next stages of its strategy to eradicate bovine TB in England by 2038. The eight-week…


Cranswick half-year profits soar

Meat processor Cranswick has posted a 31% increase in half-yearly profits to almost £61m. The Hull-based company exports pigmeat and supplies chicken and pork products to British retailers.   Figures…

See all



Tougher bovine TB controls to be introduced in Wales

Cattle farmers in Wales are facing a new raft of bovine TB controls as the Welsh government attempts to manage an increase in herd breakdowns, and some businesses could also…


Scottish farmer heartbroken after losing flock to avian flu

Scottish farmer Amy Geddes has been left heartbroken after losing her backyard flock of hens, ducks and guinea fowl due to an outbreak of avian influenza. Captive birds that tested…


Deer follow cattle with early Johne’s detection blood test

Deer famers can identify Johne’s-positive animals rapidly following on-farm trial work that has road-tested the cattle blood test on hinds.   Research published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science used the…


Johne’s assessment deadline approaches

Dairy farmers taking part in the National Johne’s Management Plan are advised they must complete a declaration form confirming their participation by the end of the year. The plan is…

See all



FW Opinion: Wider review of slurry role in bovine TB needed

Queen guitarist and animal rights campaigner Brian May has shared with Farmers Weekly in some detail how, working with vet Dick Sibley, he has helped a Devon dairy farm regain…

See all

Test and reviews


Buyer's guide to ketone testers for dairy farmers

Simple and quick tests that measure ketone levels in dairy cows are allowing farmers to act promptly with interventions to protect milk yields and herd performance. Subclinical ketosis can’t be…


Buyer's guide: Teat disinfection technology

As herd sizes increase and labour sourcing continues to create challenges, more farmers are turning to automated teat disinfection technologies to ease pressure in the parlour and promote efficiencies. Although…

See all



Video: Farmers plunge dip a mammoth 6,300 sheep in one day

Sheep farmers and contractors have carried out a mammoth 6,300-ewe plunge dipping day as part of a new joint venture between two businesses. Neil Fell, owner of NR Fell Mobile…


Video: How to use orf vaccine correctly on sheep

About one in five lambs – 900,000 – are affected by the highly contagious orf virus in England’s sheep flock each year according to MSD Animal Health. Added to that…


Video: Brian May's Gatcombe Farm project gets TB-free status

A new approach to disease control on a dairy farm in Devon – taking out infective cows and minimising exposure to slurry – has seen the herd attain TB-free status…


Antimicrobial resistance: How it works and why it's important

Antimicrobial resistance, and specifically antibiotics resistance, are high on the agenda for animal agriculture and veterinary medicine. Government and industry targets have been set for antibiotics reduction and antibiotics use is…

See all