Small ruminants (Ovine and Caprine) constitutes a significant revenue generation component for small-scale livestock farmers across the globe especially in most developing nations including Nigeria. Viral diseases like Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a major contagious disease of domestic ruminants that hampers livestock productivity in countries where the disease is still endemic. However, the role of Sheep in FMD epidemiology in Nigeria is still underestimated and poorly understood. This study was aimed at establishing the occurrence of FMD in slaughtered Sheep at Gwagwalada abattoir. One hundred and eighty (180) sera were randomly collected from slaughtered sheep and subjected to NS-Blocking ELISA test using PrioCHECK® ELISA kit at the Foot and Mouth Disease Laboratory, National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom. The result showed that out of 180 test sera, 29 (16.0%) were evident of NSP-FMD antibodies and 151 (84.0%) were negative. This findings indicates FMD infections were within and absence of vaccination against FMD in sheep. The consequence of co-herding of sheep as a risk factor in FMD spread and transmission within this study area could be far overwhelming. In conclusion, this preliminary finding provides information on the occurrence of FMD in all breeds of apparently healthy, non-vaccinated Rams and Ewes slaughtered in Gwagwalada abattoir. Control efforts should be put in place to prevent potential vicious circle of outbreaks that may arise from transmission of Foot and Mouth Disease Virus from slaughtered sheep in the abattoir to livestock markets and possibly herds within and around Gwagwalada Area Council.
Key words: FMD, ELISA, Sheep and Gwagwalada