Sustained control of sheep mold - MORes
The project "MORes - Sustainable Control of Moderhinke in Sheep" is a joint project of the Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover Foundation in cooperation with the sheep breeding associations and the VDL, Schafpraxis Strobel, Josef Baumann GmbH, Schafhof Schönborn, sheep health services, veterinarians, sheep breeders and sheep farmers. The project is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Ottmar Distl, Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover Foundation.
Moderhinke is one of the economically most important diseases in sheep farming and the most common hoof disease in sheep. The causative agent of Moderhinke is the bacterium Dichelobacter nodosus. This bacterium occurs in different strains, which cause varying degrees of severity of foulbrown disease. Malignant (virulent) strains spread to the dermis under the hoof horn after infection of the claw cleft and cause a severe form of fashion bunt with lameness of the animals. First, the infection spreads to the area of the dermis under the inner claw wall and then extends to the pads, sole, and outer claw wall to the tip of the claw horn. These animals, depending on the stage of the disease, show lameness up to complete unloading of the affected claw. Examination of the hooves in the initial stage reveals an inflammation spreading in the interclaw space with the greasy and foul-smelling coatings typical of moderate lameness. As the disease progresses, the inflammation penetrates from the interclaw space through the hoof horn to the corium and leads to severe inflammation with pus formation and detachment of the horn wall from the corium. If the pathogen has spread to a high degree in a claw, shoaling occurs (complete detachment of the entire claw horn shoe). Moderhinke is a very painful disease for the animal, as the inflamed corium is very sensitive to pain and thus any strain on the hooves causes pain.
The control of the moderate limpet is always difficult and lengthy and is associated with high labor costs and the use of antibiotics. Breed differences are known for the prevalence of laminitis, the degree of expression and the duration of recovery. Every affected sheep farmer knows that some sheep in the flock repeatedly develop severe symptoms of the disease, while other animals hardly ever need to be treated against festering bunt. Whether an individual sheep in a flock where the primary pathogen is present becomes ill depends largely on its genetics. Therefore, in this project, new methods for the sustainable control of the moderate biting disease via sanitation and breeding programs are to be developed by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag. Project sponsorship is provided by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) within the framework of the Innovation Promotion Program. A major milestone of this project is the development and implementation of a genomic breeding value estimation for moderate bovine bark resistance as well as the identification of animal-specific resistance factors in sheep against moderate bark.
As many sheep farmers and breeders as possible should be recruited for this project. Therefore, we ask for your feedback if you are interested in participating in the project. The surveys and sampling as part of the project will be fitted into the management procedures of your farm, so that only a small amount of additional time and effort is required for the farm. Therefore, we work around your schedules such as herd hoof trimming, herd vaccinations and similar actions. EDTA blood samples and claw swab samples are required from the animals. Animal identity and essential data will be collected electronically by field staff via a mobile recording system. If you use an electronic herd management program, this is helpful for data collection, but not mandatory. There is no cost to the farm for the surveys conducted as part of MORes.