Publication - Advice and guidance

Sheep and goat pox: how to spot and report the diseases

Published: 30 Oct 2018

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of these infectious diseases.

Published:
30 Oct 2018
Sheep and goat pox: how to spot and report the diseases

Sheep and goat pox affect sheep and goats. Humans aren’t affected.

Latest situation: the diseases have not been present in Great Britain since the 1800s.

Clinical signs

Symptoms of the diseases include:

  • female animals produce less milk and have abortions
  • fever
  • nodules (bumps) in the skin, mouth and nose that cause pain
  • swollen and tender udder or testicles
  • tongue lesions (damage to the skin)
  • salivation
  • discharge from the nose and eyes
  • swollen lymph nodes
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 goat and sheep pox are spread

The major route for spread of the disease is direct contact between infected animals.

Minor routes of infection are:

  • contaminated objects such as farm equipment, vehicles, bedding and fodder
  • insects spreading the disease

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

Sheep and goat pox are covered by the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992 and the Specified Diseases (Notification) Order 1996.

Sheep and goat pox are also covered by EU Council Directive 92/119.

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 sheep and goat pox 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.