In 1999 I cooperated with a pharmaceutical company and two Douglas County sheep producers for FDA re-certification of a footrot vaccine. Results were reported to the corporation and at county educational programs. Due to differences in strain of organism, the vaccine was only effective in one flock.
Additionally, previous research on the effects of this disease showed a 7.1 lb increase in lamb weight gain for footrot-free verses footrot-infected lambs. Also, ewes infected with footrot are less productive overall. With less footrot in the flock less labor is necessary for time spent treating animals.
The information in the above two paragraphs was used to make management decisions on whether to use the vaccine. The 600-ewe flock with a positive response to the vaccine had the potential to increase annual revenues by $0.97 per ewe through increased weight gains in lambs. The 600-ewe flock with the negative response did not use the vaccine, thus saving the $2 per ewe annual vaccine cost. With the 18,000 ewes that were in Douglas County, there was a potential revenue increase of $26,689 annually by using vaccine trial and other research information.