22 Aug 2018
For many UK flocks, lameness is an endemic problem and prevalence has probably increased following the change in weather patterns to mild winters and wet summers. As well as being a considerable welfare issue, lameness is an important source of production loss. Estimates of costs vary but can be £5 per lamb or £7 per ewe.
In recent years there has been a lot of research into the causes of lameness and its treatment. This has produced interesting findings, some of which run against previous old advice. A vital aspect to understanding foot lameness is that the commonest forms – footrot and scald, are infectious diseases which can be vaccinated against. When treated in this manner, rather than treating overgrown feet, the control of the problem is simplified.