Studies on livestock diseases are informing management practices used by vets and farmers, leading to improvements in animal health and welfare.
|Reducing lameness in sheep
Research in the School of Life Sciences has led to the development of an effective management strategy for the control of footrot, a disease currently costing the sheep industry in Great Britain an estimated £24-£80million a year. Since knowledge transfer disseminated to 50,000 sheep farmers in England, there has been a reduction in the average prevalence of lameness by 50% from 10% in 2004 to 5% in 2013.
|Improved understanding of mastitis in sheep
Research in the School of Life Sciences has increased understanding of the causative agents of, and risk factors for, mastitis in suckler ewes. Results disseminated to farmers highlight the importance of maintaining udder health and the role of nutrition during pregnancy and lactation. Current work aims to build on this by comprehensively reviewing risk factors for mastitis, developing interventions to reduce the incidence of mastitis, and characterising within-flock transmission patterns.