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Oatridge Sheep Event Addresses Threats to our Flocks

Published Wednesday, 24th July 2013 in SAC Consulting news

sheep herd
Grazing trials were carried out Balgay Farming Partnership in Angus.

With new and emerging diseases, parasite epidemics and the long term legacy of appalling weather the sheep industry is facing major challenges.

A free event planned for Tuesday 20th August at the Oatridge Campus of Scotland’s Rural College will update flockmasters, vets, and others in the industry with the latest knowledge on the various threats, with practical advice on suitable management strategies.

Organised by SAC Consulting, Veterinary Services, a specialist arm of the Rural College (SRUC) the event will feature their own experts as well as colleagues from partner organisations. It is open to practical farmers, private veterinary practices and anyone else with an interest in a healthy, productive sheep sector.

“This will be knowledge exchange at its best,” says Dumfries based vet Heather Stevenson, one of the organisers. “We have new virus diseases, like Schmallenberg, which has only recently been confirmed in Scotland and the liver fluke epidemic which exploded last autumn and winter. Lameness plagues many flocks and then there are the less prominent, but equally concerning diseases like Maedi Visna and Jaagsiekte which can seriously damage sheep health and productivity. We have sessions on all of these.”

In addition to the latest information on the various disease threats there will be discussion on control strategies. The role Electronic Identification or EID can play in disease control programmes will also be highlighted.

“The controversial moves by the EU to make the individual identification of sheep compulsory has been unpopular,” says Heather. “However if it is to be imposed there are ways it can be used to maximum benefit. One of our most practical and respected sheep experts Dr John Vipond will be outlining his ideas and stimulating discussion.”

The meeting begins at 10.30 am, after coffee at Oatridge with a free lunch from 12.30 – 1.30 pm and finishes at 3.15pm. While the lunch is free it would help the caterers if those planning to attend could register by phoning Dumfries Veterinary Services on 01387 267260 (where more information on the programme can also be obtained).

SRUC acknowledges the support of the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Government for programmes of knowledge transfer and exchange through Success through Knowledge.

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