THE National Sheep Association (NSA) is running a series of online meetings to replace those cancelled by the coronavirus epidemic.

A series of events was due to have offered advice to sheep farmers on ‘Iceberg diseases’ alongside the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), but now the NSA will deliver the information to interested parties in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Infectious conditions that are classed as ‘Iceberg diseases’ include Border disease, Caseous Lymphadentis (CLA), Johne’s disease and Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma (OPA) and, despite their increasing significance, many sheep farmers remain quite unaware of the real impact they can have on sheep flocks.

A team from NSA, Moredun and SRUC had planned to travel the length and breadth of the country to inform on the risks posed by these often unnoticed, but sometimes devastating diseases, but will now turn to the internet to deliver these important messages.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker said: “As the ongoing coronavirus crisis forces more of us to stay home, the NSA wants to ensure we can support our members and the wider sheep sector in providing information that will help to protect the health of the UK’s sheep flocks and aid sheep farmers in moving their enterprises forward.

“Many farming organisations already use webinars very successfully in delivering information and we hope that this meeting on the important subject of Iceberg diseases will be popular with sheep farmers that would have ordinarily joined us in our face-to-face meetings.”

Dr Beth Wells, Knowledge Exchange Specialist at Moredun, said: “We welcome this initiative from the NSA and are delighted to be taking part in the 'Iceberg Diseases' webinars, which is a very important topic to sheep farmers. Moredun has active research teams working in both OPA and Johne’s and this is a great opportunity for the scientists involved to discuss their recent findings and how to best control these diseases in your flocks, or even better, how to keep them out.”

NSA, Moredun and SRUC will deliver the webinars on Thursday, April 30, from noon to 1.30m, Wednesday, May 13, from 7pm to 8.30pm, and on Wednesday, May 20, from 8.30am to 10am. Sheep farmers and others interested in joining the webinars can register ahead of the sessions using the links on the website at

An agenda for the webinar can be downloaded from the NSA website. For help and advice on how to access the webinar, contact NSA Activities and Campaigns Officer, Chris Adamson, on 07930 225150 or email