Farm Animal Welfare Committee advice to government about the extent of lameness experienced by sheep in Great Britain, the impact on their welfare and practical solutions.
This opinion reviews the evidence of welfare impact due to sheep lameness and considers means of prevention, control and treatment of the common types of lameness in sheep.
Footrot, including digital dermatitis, is responsible for 90% of lameness in British sheep and is present in 97% of flocks. For most causes of foot lameness there are effective treatments that, if applied promptly, can reduce the prevalence in a flock to less than 2%. Shepherds must ensure that they are able to recognise the various causes of lameness and treat all lame sheep promptly.
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