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This is an app to explain how to avoid and control abortion in your flock, and how to identify risks and problems.


Country: UK

Dairy or/and meat sheep: Meat /dairy

Source of information: Vet knowledge, Livelamb OG factsheet

Level of solution:






Just Being Tested


Aim: To avoid abortion due to health risks and infections (management & vaccination)


Control of abortion in sheep (the common causes), by Kim Hamer VetMB, MRCVS, CertAVP (sheep)

Learn more about controlling abortion online.

This is an easy to access resource for farmers, intended to provide information on major methods of abortion control in sheep in Europe.  

Brief summaries of the abortion causes and links to the relevant control methods can all be accessed from the main menu.

For easy access, go to

and click download.



Other information relevant to abortion control:

 Management :

  • Quarantine and test  any new animals coming to the farm (for Toxoplasmosis, Border Disease, Enzootic Abortion)
  • Control any stray animals such as cats and do not use  any bedding/hay bales that may have been in contact with the cat’s faeces (Toxoplasmosis)
  • Isolate, treat or cull any diseased animal, do not breed further from them (especially for Ovine Pulmornary Adenocarcinoma).
  • For OPA, areas that housed suspect sheep should be disinfected.
  • Try and minimise close contact between sheep. Reduce the time they are housed and reduce stocking densities.
  • Trough feeding increases close contact between sheep.  Feeding on the ground with a snacker may be a safer route.  Licks and buckets are another possible way of passing infection between sheep.

Vaccination (if necessary. Note that no vaccine exists for OPA) :

  • Toxoplasmosis : vaccinate breeding ewes with Toxovax® prior to pregnancy (at least 3 weeks prior to mating). The whole female breeding flock should be vaccinated initially, then any replacements vaccinated annually. 

Expected benefits: If risks are controlled, then high barren rates in ewes is reduced

Prerequisites and/or limits (knowledge, training, capabilities, cost, management, facilities, equipment, etc.)

  • Farmers need to be aware of risks on their farm and managed pastures, shed and new animals accordingly to minimize them
  • Farmers need to know when and how to vaccinate
  • Farmers need to keep and administrate  their vaccines properly


Scientific basis:

Lacasta et al Vet Microbiol, 2015 34-46

Astobiza et al Vet J2013 (196) 81-85

Fthenakis GC et al Anim Reprod Sci. 2012 Feb;130(3-4):198-212.


Expected impacts:



Benefit expected

Increase productivity
Less abortion
Less stress for the farmer


Is the solution suitable for various production systems



If no – for which system




What are the asset costs

<100  (<5)

What are the maintenance costs


Any limits to its applicability


Work Load



Service provider/tech.-vet-others

How much time is required to prepare and implement the solution

1 day – 1 week (On going monitoring and management)


How many people is needed to implement the solution?

Normal farm staff

Veterinary support


How long it takes to get results?

 Depends if need for lab analysis. Information is instant

How long it takes to see  an effect on sheep productivity?

current production




Service provider/technicians-vet-others

What kind of equipment/tool are necessary?

Access to internet

Sample taking equipement


 Skill/Knowledge-Training (farmer)

Does the solution need any specific skill/knowledge or training?


How much time will be required for training


Wider Environment

Is there any particular regulation link to the solution?


Does the solution need any particular structure or organisation?



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