QMS publishes sheep lameness prevention guide

Vet Ian Gill warns that CODD, foot rot, scald and shelly hoof are all threats to sheep health
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Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched a new publication to help farmers prevent sheep lameness. 

Available as a printed publication or to download from the QMS website, the guide offers practical advice on both the prevention and treatment of Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD) as well as general foot care.

QMS hopes the guide will tackle the issue of lameness, which it believes is a “significant problem” in Scottish flocks and can affect lamb production, growth rates and profitability.

According to Ian Gill, former president of the Sheep Veterinary Society and Scottish vet, CODD, foot rot, scald and shelly hoof are all problems occurring in the region.

He said: “CODD is a very contagious condition, which can be brought onto upland farms when hoggs have been away-wintered on dairy grass where cows have suffered from digital dermatitis. Farmers should ask about this when they are negotiating winter grazing lets.”

Gill advised farmers to avoid over-trimming or paring the feet of sheep in order to stop the spread of foot rot and scald. “Leaving them untrimmed does not usually do any harm and if they can be turned out onto a bit of rough ground or hill, the natural wear usually solves the problem.”

Farmers interested in receiving a hard copy of the guide can call QMS on 0131 472 4040.

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