Maedi-Visna Accredited Flocks Scheme


Maedi-Visna (MV) is a virus disease affecting sheep. Maedi and Visna are Icelandic words which mean “laboured breathing” and “wasting” respectively depending on whether the lungs or the brain are affected. Animals may be infected at any age but loss of condition and pneumonic signs are not normally seen in sheep less than 3 to 4 years old. Sheep with early signs of infection may lag behind the flock and breathing may be fast and shallow after exercise. 

There is no vaccine or treatment available and animals usually die three to eight months after the onset of disease. The virus spreads most readily between infected and non-infected animals during periods of close contact and can be brought into a flock by the introduction of apparently healthy infected animals of any age.  MV virus is spread through milk from infected ewes, by droplets from the nose or mouth and by needles or punches used on infected sheep or goats.

The MV-Accredited Flocks Scheme (MVAFS) is voluntary and designed for the owner who wishes to establish and maintain their breeding flock free of MV.  Flocks will be registered as MV accredited on the basis of two consecutive clear blood tests and inspections. Three tests will be required if the flock has a known history of and/or is at high risk of MV infection. For more details please see the downloadable MV Scheme.

For further information, please contact:

Animal Health Team – Regulation Directorate

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's


Telephone:+44 1624 685844

Email:Send Email

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