Fmd cattle



Keywords: fmd cattle
Description: How to spot foot and mouth disease, what to do if you suspect it and measures to prevent its spread.

Foot and mouth disease is a notifiable disease. That means if you suspect it you must tell the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA ) immediately. Failure to do so is an offence.

Sheep rarely develop mouth blisters as a result of foot and mouth disease: lameness is the main sign of the disease.

  • severe lameness, which may develop suddenly and spread quickly among the flock
  • tendency to lie down more than usual
  • unwillingness to move when made to stand
  • high numbers of stillbirths, abortions and lambs dying soon after birth
  • tiredness in young lambs
  • ewes unwilling to allow lambs to suckle

Sheep rarely develop blisters in the mouth as a result of foot and mouth disease. Blisters on the hoof are more common. In either location the blisters tend to be very small and hard to spot.

Pigs rarely develop mouth blisters as a result of foot and mouth disease: lameness is the main sign of the disease.

  • sudden lameness, which may spread quickly among the herd
  • loudly squealing from pain
  • tendency to lie down and unwillingness to move
  • reluctance to feed

Pigs don’t usually develop blisters as a result of foot and mouth disease. But sometimes blisters do appear on the:

The clinical signs are indistinguishable from swine vesicular disease. Therefore if you suspect swine vesicular disease you must report your suspicions and treat the condition as suspected foot and mouth disease until laboratory tests prove otherwise.

Other cloven-hoofed animals including goats and deer can also be infected and introduce the disease to farm animals.

  • equipment
  • vehicles
  • people
  • clothes
  • mud
  • bedding
  • any other item that has been in contact with infected animals

The virus is present in the fluid of the blisters that animals develop. It can also be found in their saliva, urine, dung, milk and exhaled air before signs of the disease appear.

  • being familiar with the clinical signs of foot and mouth disease so you can notify APHA immediately if you suspect it
  • practising strict biosecurity on your premises.






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