What Is The Thin Ewe Investigation Scheme?
APHA are recruiting farmers in England and Wales and offering free post-mortem examination of three thin ewes to investigate “iceberg diseases” and other causes of ill thrift/poor condition on farm.
Anonymised samples will also be collected from thin ewes to help APHA in their research and to help develop new tests.
The post-mortem and any testing are free of charge, and you will also receive a report back.
Taking part could yield useful information for you about disease and the metabolic status of your flock, as well as helping with management and breeding selection moving forward.
Are My Ewes Eligible?
APHA have recommended that up to three ewes that have been identified for removal from flock due to poor condition at tupping or empty at scanning are eligible.
How Can My Farm Be Put Forward?
Places are available on a first come, first served basis. Please speak to one of the team, who can liaise with you and APHA to secure your place. This will help them coordinate when carcasses will be submitted.
Remember, the scheme is only running up until the end of December 2020, so the sooner you speak with the vet the better.
What Happens Once My Farm Has Been Selected?
Once your farm has been selected, the vet will need to take a blood sample prior to euthanising the sheep.
The three sheep will then need to be delivered to the centre. If your farm is within a one-hour drive of the centre, you will need to make your own arrangements for delivering the sheep. If your farm is further than an hour’s drive to the centre, you are eligible for free carcass collection. You can find your local centre here (enter the first part of the farm’s postcode in the postcode finder to locate your nearest centre).
APHA will also send you a short questionnaire to complete.