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Stackyard News Oct 2012

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Inaugural Sheep Health and Welfare Conference

From long-established problems like scab to developing diseases like Schmallenberg, a whole range of sheep health and welfare issues will be covered at an exciting new conference next month.

photo © Jennifer MacKenzie

mule ewes with suffolk x lambs

Sheep farmers, vets and advisors from across the country are already booking in for the event on 21st November 2012 at Warriors Stadium, Worcester – and there are still some spaces left for those keen to spend the day looking at innovative approaches to disease and practical applications on the farm. The popularity of the event is such that many vet practices and agricultural suppliers are organising transport to the event, so speak to your local representative to see if a group is travelling from your area.

The update on Schmallenberg from Dr Piet Vellema, a Dutch vet and expert on emerging diseases, will be a vital part of the day for many attendees – but so too will be presentations tackling more well-known challenges, including internal parasites and how the industry should approach the eradication of sheep scab. There will also be thought-provoking discussion on the real cost of endemic disease, a practical look at early detection, design and implementation of prevention strategies, as well as a snapshot of the future and where current research is taking the science of flock health and welfare.

The Sheep Health and Welfare Group (SHAWG), which includes a mix of stakeholder groups and hands-on farmers, is delighted to be providing the industry with such a high quality conference. It has been developed with farmers in mind, as Peter Baber, Devon-based sheep farmer, SHAWG chairman and conference chairman for 21st November, explains:-

“We’re very proud to have a line up of top speakers and are confident everyone will go away having spent a productive day looking at practical ideas and solutions,” he says. “As a sheep farmer myself, I am looking forward to hearing some different perspectives on some perennial problems, as well as learning more about new diseases. Those of us involved in SHAWG have high hopes for this becoming an annual event, but I would urge farmers, as well as vets and advisors, to be there in this first year and take advantage of the experts speaking on the day. It only costs £30 to attend and I am confident we are providing an event that is worth every penny.”

SHAWG, which is solely funded by Eblex, is organising the conference in collaboration with the National Sheep Association. They are delighted to have Norbrook Animal Heath involved as title sponsor, as well as further sponsorship from MSD Animal Health, Novartis, BOCM Pauls, Agrimin and Bayer.

  • The conference is on 21st November, 9.30am-4pm.
  • There is a charge of £30 per person attending the conference, payable before the day.
  • There are a limited number of free-of-charge places for members of the press. Please contact Joanne Pugh at the NSA – – as soon as possible. Also contact Joanne if you are unable to attend the event but would like to discuss being supplied with post-event coverage.

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