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Flock-level risk factors for scrapie in Great Britain: analysis of a 2002 anonymous postal survey

McIntyre, K. Marie; Gubbins, Simon; Sivam, S. Kumar and Baylis, Matthew (2006) Flock-level risk factors for scrapie in Great Britain: analysis of a 2002 anonymous postal survey. BMC Veterinary Research, 2 . Article Number: 25. ISSN 1746-6148

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Background: In November 2002, an anonymous postal survey of sheep farmers in Great Britain (GB) was conducted to identify factors associated with the flock-level occurrence of scrapie. This survey was undertaken to update an earlier postal survey in 1998, and was the first occasion in which a large-scale postal survey had been repeated. Results: The results of the 2002 survey indicated that scrapie was more likely to occur in certain geographic regions; in purebred compared to commercial flocks; in larger flocks; in flocks which lambed in group pens compared to those which lambed in individual pens; in flocks which always lambed in the same location compared to those which did not; and in farms which kept certain breeds of sheep. In addition to these factors, the likelihood of the disease occurring in homebred animals was higher in flocks which bred a greater proportion of replacement animals or which bought-in lambs. Finally, within-flock transmission following exposure was more likely to occur in hill flocks compared to other farm types; in flocks which bred a greater proportion of replacement animals; and in farms which kept a certain crossbreed of ewe. Conclusion: The risk factors identified from the 1998 and 2002 anonymous postal surveys in Great Britain were similar. However, differences between the surveys were identified in the influence of region and of purchasing behaviour on the risk of scrapie. These differences are most likely a consequence of changes in farmer awareness and the impact of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease epidemic, respectively.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Published: 03 August 2006. 7 pages (page numbers not for citation purposes).
Uncontrolled Keywords:sheep farmers; group pens; individual pens; homebred animals; hill flocks; crossbreed of ewe
Subjects:S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Veterinary Science > Department of Veterinary Clinical Science
Publisher's Statement:© 2006 McIntyre et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Related URLs:
ID Code:760
Deposited On:01 Jul 2008 15:54
Last Modified:23 Mar 2012 11:02

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