Court Farm, Llanthony, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Focus Site Project: How to identify, control and eradicate iceberg diseases in sheep.
The main objective of the project is to establish the true incidence of the OPA within the flock by using thoracic ultrasound. This flock represents many that are affected with this type of disease. We also want to establish if culling of affected ewes over a period of time has a true cost-benefit relationship between the cost of establishing disease and the benefits of identifying and removing affected individuals. This will look at the costs associated with vet fees, on-farm deaths of thin ewes in comparison to costs of culling ewes, before they reach the terminal stage. We are aiming to look at other parameters of improvement over the project such as increased scanning figures and increased lamb survival.
By improving the health status of this flock, productivity and efficiency will hopefully increase. A long term aim, in coordination with the local vets, will be to look at future health planning and limiting the risk of this disease being re-introduced and ongoing disease monitoring. This is also an opportunity to maximise use of improved record keeping and electronic tags. Currently, the farm uses EID but not to its full capacity. Changes in management of tag use should help improve record keeping and future breeding decisions to help eliminate diseases.