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Small ruminant disease surveillance

If you have found something new, unusual, severe, or unresponsive in relation to small ruminant diseases, please contact the SREG veterinary lead or your nearest Veterinary Investigation Centre.

Please note: if you suspect a notifiable disease you must contact APHA immediately.

Explore the diagnoses made by the APHA surveillance network through the interactive sheep disease surveillance dashboard.

Small Ruminant Expert Group (SREG) veterinary lead

SREG veterinary lead - Amanda CarsonThe SREG veterinary lead is Amanda Carson (07909532229).

Amanda has been the SREG veterinary lead since April 2014. She leads the Defra-funded small ruminant disease scanning surveillance project in APHA, and is a committee member of the Sheep Veterinary Society and the Association of Government Veterinarians.

Amanda also represents APHA on the Sheep Health and Welfare Group. She is the vice chair of the Farmer Scientist Network of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, a trustee of the charity The Sheep Trust, member of the Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee (FAnGR) and secretary of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association.

SREG members

To support the SREG veterinary lead, the group has representation from Veterinary Investigation Officers from APHA and SRUC, SAC Consulting Veterinary Services representatives.

In addition, there are APHA members on SREG providing expertise for specific disciplines (e.g. epidemiology, virology, bacteriology, pathology) and specific diseases (e.g. parasitic gastroenteritis). There is also representation from those involved in International Disease Monitoring in APHA.

SREG non-APHA members include representatives from:

SREG collaboration

There is also close collaboration between SREG and the following groups:

SREG surveillance reports

SREG contributes interesting and unusual small ruminant cases, highlights small ruminant disease alerts or findings and provides focus articles relating to small ruminants for the APHA Veterinary Record monthly disease surveillance report. These are compiled together with contributions from other Species Expert Groups.

Quarterly GB Small Ruminant Diseases Emerging Threats reports are compiled by SREG. They summarise investigations into threats and other surveillance issues to inform governments, the veterinary profession and livestock farming industries of new or re-emerging threats to cattle health or changing trends among existing ones.

Interesting cases from reports in 2016

GB emerging threats: small ruminants report

Quarterly highlights

January to March 2016

  • Epidermolysis bullosa
  • Ovine abortion summary
  • Rickets
  • Hypoglycaemia encephalopathy in lambs
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
  • Nitroxynil toxicity
  • Bluetongue update

April - June 2016

  • Milk Drop – agalactia in ewes
  • Dietary deficiency in milk replacer
  • Spinal cord abscessation following vaccination
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Kangaroo gait
  • Dog attack/bite wounds
  • Nematodirus battus
  • Ovine abortions
  • Persistent Border disease infection
  • Sarcina-like bacterial abomasitis
  • Listeria encephalitis
  • Lead poisoning
  • Gamebird feed and ruminants
  • Bluetongue update

July - September 2016

  • Suspect Oxyclozanide toxicity
  • Unusual presentation of Orf
  • Peste de Petite Ruminants
  • Poisoning due to Galega
  • Septicaemic Biberstinia trehalosi
  • Tick-borne fever
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Scrapie Flocks Scheme
  • Schmallenberg
  • Paramphistomes
  • Bluetongue update

October - December 2016

  • Schmallenberg
  • Salmonella Typhimurium DT104
  • Centre of Expertise in Extensively Managed Livestock
  • Sheep scab
  • Achrondroplasia in Cheviots
  • Acute and chronic fasciolosis
  • Bibersteinia trehalosi
  • Spinal cord compression following vaccination
  • Zoonoses
  • Bluetongue update

Disease information

APHA has provided more information on SBV cases in lambs confirmed by APHA in England and Wales during December 2016 and January 2017. This information will be updated to show new cases, by county, on a fortnightly basis.

Information notes and alerts on specific diseases or conditions:


The following videos were created by APHA on bluetongue, a notifiable disease which can affect ruminant animals:

Sheep dashboard

Further information (external links)