MOST contacts veterinary surgeons have with sheep flocks have traditionally been for emergency work associated with lambing time, accounting for about 90 per cent of visits. Any extension to this type of work is often in response to a particular disease episode in an individual or group of sheep, which is usually regarded by the farmer as an isolated event, rather than as having implications for other age groups or for the flock as a whole. However, restricting veterinary input to the individual or affected group is an often inadequate approach to strategic disease control. Veterinarians should instead be seeking to provide a year-round flock health programme.
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