Lameness in sheep: finding sustainable ways to manage and control lameness on sheep farms
Lameness is one of the biggest health and welfare issues on sheep farms in the UK and around the world. Here at The University of Nottingham, we’re carrying out a range of epidemiological studies to further our understanding of sustainable methods for controlling the condition. We’re also working closely with farmers and vets to help them implement the best methods for controlling it in their flocks.
In addition, our experienced research team is working with industry partners to build innovative technologies that can monitor, record and manage lameness. It’s just one of many technology projects within the Ruminant Population Health Research Group.
Sheep performance Improvement through Lameness Monitoring and Management (SPiLaMM), 2015-2019
Led by Dr Jasmeet Kaler, this project is exploring factors that contribute to sheep lameness, including environmental conditions. It’s also assessing the effectiveness of data collection and feedback systems currently used to create risk-based control strategies for lameness.
By using innovative hardware and software developed specifically for this project, the team aims to reduce lameness, improve production and enhance animal welfare on farms. You can read more about SPiLaMM here.
Early Lameness Detection for Lameness Control (EL4L), 2016-2017
Dr Jasmeet Kaler and her team are leading the development and validation of a system for automatic detection of lameness in sheep. They’re collaborating with industry partners Intel, Farm Wizard and HPE. You can read more about the technology involved here
Is multistrain infection by Dichelobacter nodosus important in the severity of footrot and in the management of disease? 2015-2018
This collaborative project is being led by Professor Laura Green and her group from the University of Warwick with Jasmeet Kaler as co-investigator. Scientists are working to understand how communities of microbes change in time and space. Veterinary epidemiologists are investigating how livestock diseases spread and can be controlled, while modellers are determining how the data we collect today can be used to effectively treat and hopefully prevent disease in the future.
We are also collaborating with Dr Sabine Totemeyer and her group who are conducting a project on understanding inflammatory rational vaccine design for footrot (see pathogen genomics)