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Resilience against footrot: are hoof conformation and vaccination making their marks on lameness control plans in sheep flocks?

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23 November 2018

PhD student Caroline Best, with senior lecturer and independent sheep consultant Kate Phillips, are probing the UK sheep industry to investigate lameness management practices, specifically hoof conformation monitoring and vaccination against footrot. Together with specialist academics, Dr Malgorzata Behnke, Dr Alison Pyatt and Dr Janet Roden, this dedicated team are hoping to produce novel and original research into the flock management strategies, with a little help from UK sheep farmers.

An online questionnaire has been launched, where sheep farmers across the UK are encouraged to take part. The questionnaire takes less than 15 minutes to complete and will provide an enormous wealth of information into the flock management strategies employed by farmers in the UK. All participants are invited to enter a prize draw to win a £100 voucher at an agricultural merchant of their choice.

Caroline explains: “Footrot in the UK is a significant problem, accounting for over 80 per cent of lameness in sheep. With pressures from industry targets and concerns over antibiotic usage, there is a growing need to understand what lameness control strategies UK sheep farmers are employing.

"Ultimately, updating our understanding, will allow for a stream-lined approach to endorsing gold-standard lameness control at farm-level.”

All sheep farmers, from farm workers, shepherds and farm owners are encouraged to take part in this questionnaire. Please visit https://harper-adams.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/flock_lameness_management to complete the survey and to have a chance to win £100. All answers are confidential. For further information, please contact Caroline Best.

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