What is sheep pox and how does it affect the sector?

Sheep or goat pox is an infectious and highly contagious disease that affects sheep and goats.

It is caused by the smallpox virus and is transmitted through direct contact with sick animals or their secretions, and can also be transmitted by insects.


A sheep pox outbreak can have a significant negative economic impact on the sheep sector and the industry in general. Some of the economic effects include:

  • Animal loss: A sheep pox outbreak can result in the death of many animals, representing a direct economic loss to farmers.
  • Decreased production: Animals that survive a sheep pox outbreak may have reduced wool and meat production, which can also affect farmers’ profitability.
  • Market closures: The presence of sheep pox in an area can lead to the restriction or closure of local and international markets for agricultural products, including sheep meat and wool.
  • Control and eradication costs: Expensive measures may be necessary to control and eradicate a sheep pox outbreak, such as identification and slaughter of infected animals, disinfection of farms, and vaccination of healthy animals.

It is important to note that it is not a disease that affects humans. However, measures must be taken to control the outbreak and prevent the spread of the disease. These measures include the identification and slaughter of infected animals, the vaccination of healthy animals, and the disinfection of farms.

The cooperation of farmers is crucial to control the outbreak, reporting any suspected disease to the health authorities and following the recommended measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

In addition, it is important to emphasize the importance of prevention. Vaccinating animals and maintaining proper hygienic practices on farms and in animal handling are key to preventing future smallpox outbreaks.

In summary, a outbreak can have a significant economic impact on the sheep sector and the agricultural industry in general, and it is important to take effective prevention and control measures to minimize its impact, achieved through vaccination and eradication. of the infected animals.