Welfare in animal production has been defined as the optimal mental and physiological state of the animals. It has been recently redefined according to animals’ freedoms. As systems, individual sheep and herds are dynamic with constant interaction with each other and the environment. In this interaction, diseases play a fundamental role in welfare. Parasitism is common in sheep, and several management practices have been established to maintain the herds healthy. Cryptosporidium represents a special case, because it is a highly resistant environmental parasite, that can easily infect lambs, producing weakening diarrheas and even death. In this chapter, the role of cryptosporidiosis in sheep welfare and economic loss will be analyzed, as means of providing information on how to minimize and deal with the infection.
Part of the book: Sheep Farming