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Farm Animal Practice
Developing flock health plans
  1. Fiona Lovatt

    Fiona Lovatt (nee Hatchell) graduated from Bristol in 1995. After a short spell in the Animal Health and Husbandry Department at Langford, she moved to Teesdale, County Durham, where she currently works in the farm department of a large mixed practice based at Barnard Castle. She holds the certificate in sheep health and production and is a committee member of the Sheep Veterinary Society. When the practice is not busy with lambing, she spends two days a week at Durham University researching the genetics of two groups of reindeer on the island of South Georgia.

Abstract

WHILE strategic whole-flock advice and the implementation of appropriate preventative measures are not new concepts for veterinary surgeons working with sheep, flock health plans are becoming increasingly important in the sheep industry and will, in the future, play a vital role in the management of sheep. Establishing a health plan on a farm can help the farmer, shepherd and veterinary surgeon to plan ahead and develop procedures to ensure the long-term health and welfare of a particular flock. This must be balanced with the economics and specific practical issues associated with the individual farm. This article discusses some practical health issues concerning sheep and highlights the benefits of flock health plans and proactive preventative medicine.

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