Both vaccination and selection can help to reduce the risk of lameness in a flock. This is because they improve the resilience of the flock to footrot. There is a vaccine available for footrot which has been shown to be capable of reducing prevalence of disease in clinical trials, however efficacy can be variable and it must be used alongside other management strategies rather than as a single control measure. The best times for vaccination can vary between farms so a suitable vaccination programme should be discussed with the vet. Selection refers to choosing replacements from ewes that have never been lame.
Key points for vaccination
- Always follow the instructions on the data sheet of the vaccine
- Vaccination should only be carried out by a trained person
- Only use vaccination as part of your control programme
- Vaccinate shortly before risk periods on your farm
Common risk periods include wet seasons and winter housing.
- Initial vaccination should include 2 injections, 6 weeks apart.
- Vaccinate all sheep on the farm, including rams