High health status sheep can be purchased from the many Society sales held up and down the UK and Southern Ireland. Many Maedi Accredited, EAE Accredited, Scrapie Monitored and/or Organic.
Being a pure breed you can easily run a closed flock reducing the risk of buying disease into your flock.
Bio-security is becoming an important issue for the sheep industry. Many members of the Lleyn Sheep Society have closed their flocks in an effort to improve the health status of the sheep they produce, and to maintain their disease-free position.
Scrapie is a highly infection wasting disease affecting the nervous system of adult sheep. It is very difficult to control in a flock. It has been present in Europe for at least 200 years and has been a notifiable disease in the UK since January 1993. The casual agent is very small and is very resistant to normal disinfection procedures. At present there is no test which allows confirmation of diagnosis in the live animal. The disease has a long incubation period of 2-5 years. There is no vaccine, no cure and it is always fatal. Not all susceptible animals die of scrapie but they will pass on their genetic susceptibility to the next generation.
The Society has several members that belong to the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme. Please contact the Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) for more information.
Enzootic Abortion (EAE) is caused by a bacterium, Chlamydophilia Arbortus, and is the single most common cause of infectious abortion in sheep in the UK, costing the industry approximately £30 million a year. Some Society members are approved with the EAE Scheme run by SRUC, giving you the opportunity to purchase clean replacements which can then be vaccinated once on farm to help prevent the introduction of EAE or to assist with an elimination programme.
Maedi Visna (MV) is a chronic disease of sheep caused by a retrovirus and has been in Britain for approximately 20 years. It is estimated that at least 100,000 sheep are now infected in the national flock and clinical outbreaks are being reported all over the country.
Infection is fatal, there is no cure and there is no vaccine available for control. Signs of disease are not usually seen for two to four years after infection has been introduced by which time at least 50% of the flock is likely to have become infected. There are significant economic losses associated with infection. A study carried out on a commercial flock infected with MV showed lamb losses of 36%, plus 14% loss in the adult flock. Four years after infection had been introduced 68% of sheep were infected, and the only practical option was to cull the entire flock.
To reduce the risk of introducing MV to your flock, you can source replacements from breeders that adhere to strict conditions laid down by SRUC in their MV Accreditation Scheme, which monitors the MV status of the flock through regular blood tests and controls the addition of new sheep.
All Society sales are run in accordance with the MV Scheme, allowing the purchase and subsequent transfer of breeding sheep with MV Accredited status. Please contact SRUC for more information.
The following article shows why MVA can be devastating Click Here
Address: SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, Drummondhill, Stratherrick Road, Inverness IV2 4JZ
Telephone: 01463 226995
Fax: 01463 711103