Footrot continues to be a major problem

SHEEP industry researchers are hoping the strong interest in a new vaccine for footrot will support primary producers in eradicating the costly disease. Merinos are among the most susceptible sheep breed to the bacterial hoof disease that costs the livestock industry millions in losses and control programs each year.

Footrot is one of the most costly diseases producers deal with, costing up to $3-4 per head per year to manage the disease.

Footrot is one of the most costly diseases producers deal with, costing up to $3-4 per head per year to manage the disease.

Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Sydney, New South Wales,  announced a breakthrough in developing a vaccine to target specific serogroups, or strains of the bacteria.

Vet consultant Bruce Jackson delivered an update at the Best Wool, Best Lamb conference in Bendigo, Victoria, where he said the interest and uptake of the vaccine had been strong in Tasmania and Victoria.

It requires sheep to be swabbed so the correct strain of footrot could be identified before the correct serogroups are incorporated in a vaccine.

The cost of testing 10 lesion swabs is estimated to be from $1000 to $3000 and results in a specific bivalent vaccine recommendation required for the flock.

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