The principles of maedi-visna eradication programmes were applied to a field trial for the eradication of ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (opa). In two maternal flocks the prevalence of gross and histological lesions in slaughtered animals was 18·3 per cent and 29·8 per cent, respectively. The lambing period was supervised for three consecutive years from 1999 to 2001, during which the lambs were taken away from their mothers at birth, deprived of maternal colostrum, and hand-reared away from other sheep. Over the three-year period, 322 hand-reared animals, mainly male lambs between 10 and 14 months old, were slaughtered; their lungs were examined grossly, 52·5 per cent of them were examined histologically, and 105 samples of caudal mediastinal lymph nodes were examined by pcr. No opa tumours were detected in the slaughter specimens from the derived flock, but one lamb had histological lesions in one lung location; intrauterine transmission was ruled out in this case. No clinical opa has subsequently been observed in the hand-reared flock. Bronchoalveolar lavage samples from the breeding stock were examined by pcr in order to rule out further subclinical cases of opa. No Jaagsiekte retrovirus was detected in any of the 488 samples.
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