MOREDUN IS running a sheep health meeting at Peebles Hydro later this month to look at the latest research results on the use of ultrasound scanning to control OPA – otherwise known as Jaagsiekte – in sheep flocks.

The event, sponsored by Glenrath Farms, is an open meeting to which everyone is welcome and is free of charge, and will be led by Moredun's Dr Chris Cousens, who described OPA as one of the most important diseases facing the sheep industry. It is an infectious lung cancer caused by a virus known as Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV).

Typical symptoms of OPA in sheep are difficulty in breathing, often with marked weight loss and over-production of fluid in the lungs, which sometimes is apparent by a frothy, runny discharge from the nose. There is currently no treatment and as clinical signs can take years to develop, diagnosis is difficult and infected sheep may be spreading virus through a flock for many months or years before a diagnosis is made.

Moredun has been investigating detection of OPA tumours by ultrasound scanning and has been working with flocks throughout Scotland for the past three years using a 'scan and cull' policy. The results of this work will be discussed at the meeting, along with showing Moredun’s new film on how this form of OPA control is working well for one flock.

A parasite of high economic importance to sheep farmers, liver fluke, will be another topic under discussion at this event. Control of fluke in the light of a very wet late summer and autumn, along with increasing reports of resistance to some of the treatments use to control infection, will be discussed, focusing on up-to-date good practice advice, and featuring Moredun’s animated film 'Fight the Fluke'.

For further information on this event or the diseases featured go to