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Contagious ecthyma in the live sheep export industry

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Higgs, A.R.B., Norris, R.T., Baldock, F.C., Campbell, N.J., Koh, S. and Richards, R.B. (1996) Contagious ecthyma in the live sheep export industry. Australian Veterinary Journal, 74 (3). pp. 215-220. ISSN 0005-0423

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.1996.tb15407.x


Objective: To investigate control options for contagious ecthyma (scabby mouth) in Australian sheep exported live to the Middle East.

Design: Prevalence, vaccination and modelling studies.

Procedure: One hundred and forty weaner sheep (less than 1 year old) on each of 106 farms in Western Australia (WA) and 18 farm groups of adult wethers received at a WA commercial feedlot were examined for lesions of scabby mouth. Sheep on a total of 26 farms in 3 States were divided into treatment and control groups for the vaccination study. A simple deterministic compartmental model was developed to establish which parameters had the greater effect on disease prevalence.

Results: The proportion of farms with evidence of scabby mouth in weaner sheep was 23.6% and, on those farms with the disease, the overall prevalence was 6.1%. At the feedlot, 4 out of 18 farm groups had 5 or more sheep with lesions on arrival. The overall prevalence in the 4 diseased groups was 5.2%. Sheep vaccinated on farm before trucking to the feed-lot had a lower prevalence of scabby mouth at the end of simulated shipping than controls. The main determinant of scabby mouth prevalence was the proportion of sheep immune to the disease.

Conclusion: A program of vaccination for scabby mouth will reduce the prevalence of disease during live export. However, using current technology it is not possible to deliver shipments of sheep to the Middle East that are guaranteed completely free of scabby mouth.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Veterinary virology
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary epidemiology. Epizootiology
Veterinary medicine > Diseases of special classes of animals > Sheep and goats
Live Archive:09 Apr 2024 23:25
Last Modified:09 Apr 2024 23:25

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