Publication - Advice and guidance

Contagious agalactia: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 31 Oct 2018

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease.

Published:
31 Oct 2018
Contagious agalactia: how to spot and report the disease

Contagious agalactia affects sheep and goats.

It doesn’t affect humans.

Latest situation: it has never been present in Great Britain.

Clinical signs

Symptoms in sheep and goats include:

  • weight loss
  • swollen joints
  • abortion
  • yellow and separated milk
  • shrivelled or swollen udders
  • less milk yielded
  • swollen or infected eyes
  • high temperature

Contagious agalactia isn’t usually fatal.

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence. 

How contagious agalactia is spread

The disease spreads to young animals, mainly through milk, or from one nanny goat or ewe to another during milking.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.

How to control the disease

An outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.

Legislation

Contagious agalactia is covered by the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992 and the Specified Diseases (Notification) Order 1996.

Biosecurity

Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading. The advice details practical things you can do on your farm to help prevent the introduction and spread of contagious agalactia to and from your animals.

Contact

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.