Animal welfare is a major issue of importance, since healthy, fit and stress-free animals are much more resistant to disease. In turn lambing is straightforward, my ewes typically rear twins successfully and regular handling helps to make for easy management.
The flock is maintained in Heptavac-P vaccination and Footvax is used annually on females to maintain land free of footrot. Standard worm and fluke drenches are used together with pour-ons for fly and lice. These are minimal medications to ensure the well-being and welfare of the animals. Personally, I do not farm organically because I prefer to ensure the health of the flock by the correct and minimal use of medicines and health-care products developed for their specific purposes and incorporated into a vet accredited farm health plan.
I used to vaccinate against Blue Tongue Virus, but currently do not, as the risk of the disease has greatly receded. I do not vaccinate against Schmallenberg virus as yet and due to dates of tupping have not had any problems to-date. The flock is closed to avoid any risks from introducing abortion problems and tups are only bought from reputable breeders with a proven high health status.
I think the most important issue in welfare is always to remember a quiet sheep is a happy sheep and a happy sheep that is free from stress has a much greater chance of remaining healthy and resistant to disease.
The closed flock is maintained to high standards - these focus on issues which ensure that the food produced is fully traceable and safe to eat, comes from cared for animals, that are fed feed which is safe, free from contamination and fully traceable, are transported safely and administered medication to keep them healthy