Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has today announced a new £5 million programme to help eradicate sheep scab.

Sheep scab is one of the most contagious diseases of sheep in Wales and has been identified as a disease priority by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group.

The mites can survive for 15-17 days off the sheep so can be spread through handling facilities or scratching posts.

The funding will be made available through the Rural Development Programme to deliver an industry-led project to tackle the disease in Wales.

Further details of the project will be announced in the forthcoming months following ongoing discussions with industry representatives.

Announcing the funding, Griffiths said: “Sheep scab has significant economic consequences for sheep producers and animal welfare issues for sheep.

It is one of the most contagious diseases of sheep in Wales and eradicating it is a priority for us and the industry.

“I’m pleased to be able to announce £5 million of Rural Development Programme funding will be used to help support the industry tackle the disease.

"Eradicating the disease has the potential to deliver significant lasting economic benefits for the sector at a particularly challenging time as we prepare to leave the European Union.”