Lameness in sheep

Find out how to identify, treat and prevent lameness in your flock.

Why is lameness a concern?

Lameness is a serious issue for the sheep industry. In Great Britain, the estimated cost from footrot alone is between £20-80 million each year. Considering all the other causes, the physical and financial impact of having lame animals on the farm can be very damaging.

How can lameness be prevented?

It may not be possible to eradicate lameness entirely but understanding the condition and varied causes, can reduce its impact. It’s important to:

  • Decide on a robust control strategy to suit your situation
  • Use management tools to prevent and reduce its effect
  • Correctly diagnose the cause of lameness and treat appropriately

Diseases that cause lameness

From scald to shelly hoof, our illustrated descriptions of the main causes of lameness will help you to identify, prevent and treat diseases.

Lameness in sheep: main diseases

Counting the cost

The level of lameness in flocks varies according to season and management. Find out how to comprehensively manage lameness to keep levels as low as possible.

Counting the cost of lameness in sheep

Keeping feet healthy

Learn about the anatomy of a sheep’s foot and what a healthy foot should look like. Also, find advice on reducing the spread of bacteria on farms to keep your flock free from infection.

What a healthy sheep’s foot should look like

The five-point plan

The five-point management plan provides a clear strategy to control lameness. It’s recommended where footrot, scald and/or CODD have been diagnosed as the cause of lameness.

Find out how the five-point plan works

Controlling lameness on your farm