Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Farmers Can Spot Lame Sheep, But Fail To Prevent Footrot Spread

Date:
October 13, 2008
Source:
BMC Veterinary Research
Summary:
Sheep farmers are highly able to spot even mildly lame sheep, but many do not take steps to prevent the spread of lameness in their flocks by catching and treating these animals. A study in the journal BMC Veterinary Research is the first to provide evidence for the accuracy of farmers' reporting of lameness, suggesting that farmers have one of the skills required to minimize footrot and other infectious foot conditions in their flocks.

Sheep farmers are highly able to spot even mildly lame sheep, but many do not take steps to prevent the spread of lameness in their flocks by catching and treating these animals. A new study provides evidence on the accuracy of farmers' reporting of lameness, suggesting that farmers have one of the skills required to minimise footrot and other infectious foot conditions in their flocks.

Related Articles


Footrot, one of the most common causes of lameness, is infectious, caused by the bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus. Previous studies have shown that the rapid treatment of a sheep with footrot increases its rate of recovery and decreases transmission of the infection to other sheep. But are sheep farmers able to pick out sheep in the early stages of the disease?

Dr. Jasmeet Kaler and Professor Laura Green, researchers at the University of Warwick, asked more than 230 farmers and sheep specialists to watch video clips of individual sheep and then say whether they thought the sheep was lame or not. They were then asked about when they would catch the sheep for inspection and treatment, or whether they would wait until more sheep in the flock displayed a similar level of lameness.

More than 90% of the study participants correctly identified mildly lame sheep, that is, those with an uneven posture, a shorter stride in one leg or a slight nodding of the head as they moved. However, the treatment of lame sheep varied considerably between farmers. Nearly 20% said they would treat lame animals on the first day, whilst about 70% said they would do so within a week.

Farmers and sheep specialists were more likely to catch and treat a sheep as the severity of its lameness increased. The majority said they would catch a single lame sheep at the point where it would not bear its weight when standing and showed discomfort when moving. However, 25 farmers said they did not catch individual sheep at all and only treated lame sheep at routine gatherings. These farmers had highest prevalence of lameness in their flock (15%).

The authors say, "Our study indicates that farmers have the skills to follow the current advice about how to minimise lameness in sheep and prevent the spread of footrot among their flock. They should inspect – and if necessary treat – the first mildly lame sheep in a group within one to three days of it first being lame."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMC Veterinary Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jasmeet Kaler and Laura E Green. Recognition of lameness and decisions to catch for inspection among sheep farmers and specialists in GB. BMC Veterinary Research, October 14, 2008

Cite This Page:

BMC Veterinary Research. "Farmers Can Spot Lame Sheep, But Fail To Prevent Footrot Spread." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013192600.htm>.
BMC Veterinary Research. (2008, October 13). Farmers Can Spot Lame Sheep, But Fail To Prevent Footrot Spread. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013192600.htm
BMC Veterinary Research. "Farmers Can Spot Lame Sheep, But Fail To Prevent Footrot Spread." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013192600.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins