The rising threat of the fatal and infectious lung disease (ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma [OPA], commonly known as Jaagsiekte) is increasing in reach and severity, which has led both the National Farmers’ Union and Livestock Health Scotland to issue advice aimed at cutting these rises. However, as no accurate laboratory test to identify the disease is available, Moredun’s diagnostic ultrasound lung scanning technique is currently being used to identify tumours at an early stage. Other means of identifying the disease are also being investigated to discover the best way forward.
As an ‘iceberg’ disease OPA can become established in a flock with little to no initial signs, only becoming noticeable as infection rates rise. This means that monitoring existing flocks for removal of infected sheep, as well as new purchases before introduction, are important to maintain both health and value.
For further information on OPA (Jaagsiekte) please see here.