I am a PhD student working on epidemiology of footrot in Norwegian sheep. I have worked with Professor Laura Green and her group at the University of Warwick for 3.5 months. During this time I have analysed a questionnaire on risk factors for spread of footrot in sheep flocks. The questionnaire was sent to all sheep farmers in Rennesøy and Finnøy municipality in the County of Rogaland in south western Norway. In this area most cases of virulent footrot have been detected.
In 2008, ovine footrot was detected for the first time in Norway since 1948.The current outbreak of ovine footrot in Norway has emphasized the need for knowledge about the causal bacteria and their epidemiology under Norwegian conditions.
Contact between flocks contributes to spread of ovine footrot. Trade, common breeding rams or shared pastures are potential risk factors for spreading the disease in Norway. The relative importance of these factors is not known and needs to be estimated. Through the questionnaire, I have obtained information about different links between farms and risk factors. The data have been analysed by survival analysis. The results of the study will be published in an international journal. The overall aim of the study is to identify the most important risk factors for footrot in Norwegian conditions, and thereby recommend potential control measures.
The epidemiological studies on footrot in Norway are part of the project “Ovine footrot and related contagious bovine claw diseases in Norway” with partners from NVH (Norway), NVI (Norway), UMB (Norway), Monash University (Australia), University of Warwick (UK), Swedish Animal Health Service, Danish Veterinary Institute and supported by the Research Levy on Agricultural products in Norway.
Norwegian Veterinary Institute