Industry group calls for funding to control sheep scab in Wales

An industry-led group has called for Government funding to be made available to help it achieve its aim of eradicating sheep scab in Wales.

The group is set to release its report on controlling sheep scab in Wales later this week (November 7).

The report is a collaborative project between individuals from the farming unions, veterinary practitioners and other leading industry and stakeholder experts, including the National Sheep Association, and was written in response to growing concern over the levels of sheep scab infestation in Wales.

The recommendations have now been passed to the Welsh Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group and to the Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths.

Sheep scab

Sheep scab is an insidious problem and has significant welfare implications for infected sheep.

Scab is a form of allergic dermatitis caused by the faeces of the sheep scab mite (Psoroptes ovis).

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

Previous attempts to eradicate this disease have had limited success and this is largely due to treatment regimes which have attempted to control this disease on a farm-by-farm basis.

As stray sheep and boundaries which allow contact can also spread sheep scab, the report recognises the need for treatment to be coordinated across contiguous premises.

If funded, it would put a scab control programme in place to encourage neighbouring farms to work together.