A new programme is launching in 2023 with the aim of eradicating sheep scab from the national Welsh flock.
eveloped by the farming industry in partnership with the RVC and Coleg Sir Gar and funded through Welsh Government, All-Wales Sheep Scab Eradication Programme set to launch in early 2023.
Developed by the farming industry in partnership with the RVC and Coleg Sir Gar, and funded by the Welsh Government Rural Investment Schemes, the All-Wales Sheep Scab Eradication Programme aims to be a critical step towards reducing prevalence of the disease in flocks.
Caused by parasitic mite Psoroptes ovis, sheep scab affects more than 2,000 farms and 30% of sheep in Wales each year, impacting on wool and weight loss and, in some cases mortality.
Working with Coleg Sir Gar, Gwaredu Bovine Viral Diarrhoea, Menter a busnes, Dwr Cymru, Lantra, Hybu Cig Cymru and the National Sheep Association, a team at the RVC will invite all farms in Wales suffering scab to take part in the programme.
Farmers will be asked to self-report to project staff, who will then take skin scrapes from affected sheep. Further blood tests will be sampled for P ovis antibodies and sheep on all farms returning positive results will be dipped by contractors authorised as part of the programme.
While a key aim is to reduce sheep scab cases in Wales, it is also hoped evidence will be provided on how groups of farmers can work to gather to control the disease beyond their own farms.
Neil Paton, technical lead for the All-Wales Sheep Scab Eradication Programme and lecturer in farm animal health and production at the RVC, said: “Sheep scab causes a severe welfare problem in flocks throughout the UK.
“Sheep will itch in response to infestation to the exclusion of all else, resulting in wool loss, severe skin lesions, open wounds weight loss, and in some flocks death. By coordinated diagnosis and treatment we hope to reduce the amount of disease seen in the Welsh flock and pave the way towards eradication of the mite.”
Credit to: Programme launches to eradicate sheep scab in Wales (Vet Times)
Vet Times. (2023). Programme launches to eradicate sheep scab in Wales [online]
Available at: https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/programme-launches-to-eradicate-sheep-scab-in-wales/
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