Ruminant Population Health

Evidence-based assessment of the impact of ‘iceberg’ diseases on UK flock efficiency

Spotlight project

Building a fuller picture of flock performance

This project aims to tackle a key challenge for UK farming by determining the physical and economic impact of the five most insidious infectious diseases endemic within the UK sheep industry. These are Border Disease (BDv), Caeseous lymphadenitis (CLA), Johnes (OJD), Maedi Visna (MV) and Ovine Pulmonary adenomatosis (OPA).

Funded by AHBD Beef & Lamb and run by an academic and industry consortium, the project is distilling the huge, diverse body of international research on these five diseases into a clear summary of priorities for the UK sheep industry.

Following an extensive literature review, the team will report on research gaps and identify where the diseases are likely to limit efficiency (for example by increasing replacement rate). They will establish the evidence base for potential integrated control measures, at both farm and national level. These include diagnostic tests, surveillance protocols, flock data analysis techniques, biosecurity measures, management practices and marketing strategies.

The project also involves an extensive knowledge-exchange programme, incorporating input from producers and stakeholders, compiling case studies, delivering targeted events and using project outcomes to create a training program for vets and advisors.

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  • AHDB Beef and Lamb.

Ruminant Population Health

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD