19th November 2010

Foot paring demonstration aims to trim cost of lameness

Quality Meat Scotland is next week holding a seminar and demonstration aimed at tackling an issue that costs Scottish farmers thousands of pounds a year.

Foot lameness in sheep is a problem all producers have to deal with at some time and at this year’s Royal Highland Winter Fair on 24th November, QMS is holding a practical seminar to help farmers deal with the problem.

The seminar is being led by Frank Stephen, current Secretary of the British Veterinary Association in Scotland and a practising vet based at Thurso. It will give an overview of the common types of foot lameness problems found in Scotland and offer practical advice on how to deal with them on farm.

The hands-on demonstration will concentrate on the practicalities of dealing with the various types of lameness from how to pare hooves, dilution rates for the footbath, through to vaccination. QMS will also have free information on the demo stand for farmers to take away.

The demonstration is being led by Ian Gill of Thrums Vet Practice in Kirriemuir, a past president of the Sheep Veterinary Society. His practice is part of the XL Vet Group and he will be supported by Sophie Throup who manages the XL Vet group FarmSkills training workshops.

The sheep will be provided by Messrs Sinclair, Crookston, Herriot with equipment provided by Scotpen, David Ritchie (Implements) Ltd, McCaskies Farm Supplies and Cox Agri-Hoof Shears.

Kathy Peebles, Livestock Development Manager for QMS said: “Lameness is reputed to be costing the sheep industry up to £8.38 per affected ewe. Our activity next week is focused on enabling producers to understand the different types of lameness problems from Scald through to Footrot and to know how to effectively deal with the problem.

“Foot trimming is back breaking work, so rather than doing a once a year job just before the tups go out we aim to encourage producers to put in place a more active programme of treatment. That will not only help flock welfare, but will be to the benefit of the producer both financially and physically.”

The seminars will take place at 10.00am and 12.30pm at the Royal Highland Winter Fair on 24th November. Both entrance and parking at the show are free.

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