Orf Vaccination can boost lamb returns

For flocks struggling with an Orf problem, strategic vaccination of newborn lambs this spring can easily make the difference between profit and loss. Vaccination provides the best route to effective disease control and is increasingly becoming a marketing aid for flocks troubled by the disease.

Often a flock’s first experience of Orf is at a time when the peak lamb sales period is approaching and if lambs become infected these dates can be missed. This can be highly costly, not only will the lambs have to be kept for longer they will also drift away from ideal conformation and fat class. It is generally found everywhere sheep and goats are farmed.

Orf is caused by a virus commonly seen in young lambs around the mouth or gums and nostrils. And because of the classical position of the lesions, it often threatens to cause mastitis in ewes as well as limiting a lamb’s ability to suck.

The Orf virus itself is tough and extremely resilient. It can survive for a long time on the skin and in bedding or on pasture. It can also strike out of the blue in closed flocks with no history of a problem.

If you’ve never seen Orf in your flock, your aim should be to maintain disease free status by carefully selecting rams and replacement ewes from known Orf-free premises. Bought-in stock should be isolated from the main flock and examined for any signs of disease. In addition, it makes sense to practise good pasture management with the emphasis on controlling thistles.

If Orf does break out in your flock, consider a vaccination programme. As well as delivering Orf prevention on an on-going annual basis, the Scabivax Forte vaccine will also help reduce the severity of the outbreak and protect animals not yet infected.

Call into the Office for your FREE Orf Starter Information pack, which includes a wealth of information on the disease and its control.

24 Hour Emergency Telephone 01570 422 322

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