Protecting Your Flock From Maedi Visna (MV)

Maedi Visna is an incurable, highly infectious viral disease which is ultimately fatal. Learn more about the two schemes that can help keep MV out of your flock

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Protecting your flock from Maedi Visna (MV) is crucial. Maedi Visna (MV) is an incurable, highly infectious viral disease which is ultimately fatal. Infecting sheep of any age, Maedi Visna has a long incubation period; signs are mostly seen in animals 3 years+. Maedi Visna affects the lungs and nervous system with signs including; pneumonia, progressive weakness, wasting and arthritis.

Financial losses arise from the ~20% mortality rate, reduced conception, increased culling and lamb mortality due to reduced colostrum.

There are two schemes to help keep Maedi Visna out of your flock, alongside a screening test.

Maedi Visna Accredited

This scheme is run by the SRUC. Requirements for MV accredited flocks focus on having 2 initial blood tests 6 months apart and meeting minimum biosecurity requirements.

After the first year testing is required every 2-3 years (and can be combined with management procedures e.g. vaccinating, pre-tupping checks or scanning).

Purchasing accredited sheep is the gold standard to keep MV out of your flock. It is strongly recommended any animal added to an accredited flock is tested at the time of purchase.

Maedi Visna Monitored

A new scheme run by Axiom launched in 2020 involving annually testing a percentage of the flock. It is aimed at farms that cannot meet the biosecurity requirements of the accredited scheme but still want to test to know flock status, and reduce risks of buying in or having MV in the flock.

This is a lower level of status than MV accredited so these sheep cannot enter MV accredited sections of shows or sales and cannot be exported to MV-free countries.

Protecting Your Flock From Maedi Visna (MV): Maedi Visna 12 Ewe Screen

Non-accredited flocks can have a screening test, where we sample 12 thin ewes to get an indication of the likelihood of MV on your farm. This is only a screening test and does not guarantee the status of the rest of the flock.

Contact us if you’d like to discuss protecting your flock from Maedi Visna (MV) or either scheme further.

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