Ceva Animal Health, supplier of the Cevac Chlamydia vaccine, is supporting a new campaign to raise awareness of Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE) and drive farmers to their vet to vaccinate before tupping to prevent unnecessary lamb losses and the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

A new infographic and educational webinar are now available to share on social media, to increase farmer awareness and provide best practice guidance.

The infographic and webinar explain how vaccination is considered best practice for control of the disease, giving better disease control whilst ensuring responsible use of antibiotics.

Independent sheep veterinary consultant Dr Fiona Lovatt, who leads the cross-industry Sheep Antibiotic Guardian Group, said: "Despite EAE being responsible for over 35% of all abortion diagnoses, only one million of the 3.5 million replacement ewes in the national flock each year are vaccinated against EAE. Any sheep farmer that either buys in ewes for replacements or has close neighbours that also lamb sheep, risks bringing enzootic abortion into their flock.

"Once the disease infects an unvaccinated flock, some ewes are ‘programmed’ to abort at their next lambing, leaving no choice but to put remedial measures in place – usually including both vaccination and antibiotic treatment.

"This means EAE is a disease that, once in a flock, carries high costs both financially and emotionally in terms of lamb losses and farmer stress. Hence it is important that flocks receive appropriate vaccination at least four weeks before ewes go to the ram and avoid the inappropriate use of antibiotics closer to lambing."

Fiona points out that a single dose of EAE vaccine costs about £2.40 and is an investment that effectively lasts the ewe for her lifetime in the flock, protecting against losses. In contrast, abortion or stillbirth – which accounts for around a quarter of all lamb losses each year – costs over £25 for every single lost lamb. 

Fiona added: "Every injection of antibiotics also costs an additional £1. But is just a ‘sticking plaster’ with short-lasting effectiveness in terms of disease control but long-lasting damage in terms of mounting resistance."

Ceva says it will continue to work closely with veterinary practices to secure stock of Cevac Chlamydia vaccine to ensure farmers can purchase and use the vaccine at the right time. Ceva also provides subsidised blood sampling for diagnostic purposes. 

For further information, call Ceva Animal Health on 01494 781510 or email cevauk@ceva.com.

Photo: Mike Benjamin

Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.