A survey was sent to 869 Merino farmers in New Zealand in August 2001 seeking information about the prevalence of footrot, treatment and control measures applied, their related costs, and estimated production losses attributable to the disease. There were 304 respondents to the survey and they farm approximately 43% of the Merino sheep in New Zealand. Footrot was reported to be present in 59% of the respondents’ flocks with 6.4% of the sheep infected by footrot at the time of surveying. Foot bathing, culling of affected sheep and breeding for footrot resistance in flocks were the preferred control measures. Footrot treatment was calculated to cost $1.67 per Merino sheep per year with an additional $1.77 per sheep attributed to losses in animal production. Assuming the respondents are representative of the New Zealand Merino industry, the total cost of footrot to this industry was estimated to be in excess of $11 million annually.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 65, Christchurch, 117-122, 2005
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