Tŷ Coch, Llanbadoc, Usk, Monmouthshire
Focus Site Project: How to identify, control and eradicate iceberg diseases in sheep.
The aim of this part of the project is to establish how many ewes in the Mule flock are infected with MV and whether it is present in the Aberfield flock, and if so, at what level. This would be achieved initially with a blood test on all of the ewes (270). Depending on how many positive sheep are identified, the positive cases would be culled immediately, or managed as a separate group to minimise further spread. A second blood test of all the sheep in the infected part of the flock and cull ewe screening of the uninfected flock six month later would be also desirable.
The ultimate aim of the project is to discover whether MV can be eradicated by the careful separation of groups and blood testing. If MV is removed from the flock then culling can be based on age, prolapses, poor mothering and lameness and the overall health and productivity of the flock would improve. The true extent of iceberg diseases and their prevalence in Wales is very much unknown, therefore this project offers great potential in terms of knowledge transfer to increase farmers’ understanding of the various diseases, how to identify, control and eradicate them.