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Foot and Mouth Disease: The UK Outbreak of 2001

What is foot and mouth Disease? In 2001 the UK fell party to an epidemic of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which led to the slaughter of 6.5 million animals and a cost of £8 billion.1 But what have we learned from it, and what has been done to stop it from happening again? Foot-and-mouth disease is a viral disease found in cloven hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, deer, water buffalo, pigs and cattle. It is present all over…

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Clostridial Diseases in Sheep

What are Clostridial Diseases? Clostridial diseases are a group of severe diseases seen in sheep caused by Clostridia spp. bacteria. These bacteria are widely recognised as pathogens in livestock, humans, and companion animals and can survive in spore form in the environment for long periods of time. Faecal contamination of pasture is the primary source of infections picked up from the environment. At the same time, it is normal for many of these bacteria to inhabit the intestines of healthy animals. The problem…

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Sheep Scab and Psoroptes ovis

What is Sheep Scab? Sheep scab is a endemic disease caused by Psoroptes ovis, more commonly known as scab mites. Scab mites defecate on the skin which causes an allergic reaction. With a short life cycle of only 14 days, scab mite populations can increase fast and can infect an entire flock, even more so when kept indoors and in close proximity. The mite can survive for up to 17 days off the sheep but must use the sheep to complete…

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Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year

Happy New Year: A round up of all of the parasites we have seen this year We’ve been lucky enough to see quite a range of parasites at Ridgeway this year, including some new ones and some that we are already familiar with. We thought we would share a few of these with you as a little round up of our work this year. We look forward to seeing what new and exciting species 2021 brings for us! Dictyocaulus filaria…

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Christmas 2020: the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental health and take time for yourself after the strangest of years…

Christmas 2020: the perfect opportunity to nurture your mental health and take time for yourself after the strangest of years… Who would have thought that 2020 would entail a global pandemic and very altered day to day life as we know it? Why didn’t Doc from back to the future warn us just to skip 2020 altogether? Jokes aside, it’s been a really tough year for everyone. Whether that’s been from lack of work, working extra hours, becoming ill or…

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Cystic Ovarian Disease

Cystic Ovarian Disease What is Cystic Ovarian Disease in cattle? Cystic ovarian disease (COD) is a major problem associated with poor fertility in dairy cattle. Reportedly, from 6 to 19% of dairy cows develop cysts, however it is possible that the incidence of the disease is as high as 60%, as many heifers which develop ovarian cysts recover without intervention1, meaning they may go undetected. It is characterised by the presence of one or more enlarged anovulatory follicles on one…

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Scrapie in sheep: all you need to know

Scrapie in sheep: all you need to know What is ‘Scrapie’? Scrapie is a degenerative disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS) which is fatal, affecting sheep and goats. It is a type of disease known as a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy and has a worldwide presence, and first emerged in Europe and the United Kingdom 250 years ago. Flocks can suffer from as much as 10-20% mortality rates due to scrapie, introducing a massive economic burden for the industry. Scrapie…

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Facility Maintenance Operative Wanted

Do you have experience in maintenance and repairs? With good interpersonal skills? An exciting position has become available for an experienced Maintenance and Repair Operative to become a part of the team at Ridgeway Research Ltd. You will be experienced in providing maintenance and repairs, managing a varied and very busy schedule. You will need to be able to prioritise the workload, whilst completing tasks to a high standard. Self-motivated, with the ability to manage your own work load.You will…

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How has Coronavirus impacted the Dairy Industry?

How has Coronavirus impacted the Dairy Industry? All around the UK, industries have been feeling the effect of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and business shutdowns. With the advent of Lockdown 2.0, it is important to see what effect this has had on the UK’s largest farming sector. The impact on the dairy industry… Before the first lockdown started, around 8% of all liquid milk produced in the UK went into the hospitality sector, which created a huge surplus of milk when…

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Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be

Bird Flu: How to spot Avian Influenza and what your next steps should be In our last article we explained what Bird Flu is, the types of strains,  categorisation of low and high pathogenicity and reports of recent outbreaks within the UK. In this article we will look at recognising signs of bird flu, how to report it to DEFRA, increased biosecurity measures you should be taking whilst the UK is an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, and what to do prevent…

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