Separation and culling

Footrot is an infectious condition and therefore diseased animals are a source of infection for the rest of the flock. Moving diseased animals to a separate treatment group may help to reduce spread of footrot and scald within the flock. These animals can then be treated and monitored more easily. Animals that recover can be returned to the main flock, while those that do not recover or are treated repeatedly can be identified for culling. Separating at key times in the flock calendar can help minimise problems with footrot in the subsequent weeks, for example separating lame ewes before housing can help to reduce spread of footrot during the housing period. For many farmers, using separation as a control measure and only culling animals that do not cure may be more achievable than culling any animal that has been lame twice or more in a season.

  • Regularly separate affected animals into a treatment group based on lesions or lameness.
  • Keep the treatment group close to the farm where they can be easily monitored.
  • Examine and treat the diseased animals (see treatment section). Make sure you record the animal ID, affected foot and disease diagnosed for each case.
  • Recheck treated animals before returning them to the main flock, and identify any that do not recover for culling.