12 May 2000


IN some quarters CLA is seen as a disease of terminal sires simply because of the intensive nature in which pedigree meat flocks rear their breeding stock.

But it seems the terminal sire breeds have woken up to the problem, says SAC vet Graham Baird. "The problem with these breeds is that they are often fed in troughs and kept intensively, often being fed twice-a-day. This is the ideal environment to spread the disease."

All three main terminal sire breeds – Charollais, Suffolks and Texels – have actively tried to increase their breeders awareness of the disease by publishing articles about it in their respective newsletters.

In addition, all three breeds will have inspectors at their breed organised sales who will not allow infected sheep to be sold. This is also the case for sheep entered in shows.

Most flocks that have had a problem in the past, according to Charollais sire reference scheme chief executive Jonathan Barber, have overcome it or been able to manage it.

However, in some cases when disease levels have been allowed to build up, it can cause more problems. "Ive heard that if disease levels build up, it can infect all age groups. When it reaches this level and is affecting high-value young breeding stock that become unsaleable, it is a serious problem and loss of income," he says. &#42

All main terminal sire breeds will have inspections at their breed organised sales to stop infected breeding stock with CLA being sold.

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