Producers encouraged to attend sheep scab meeting

Friday, 22 February, 2019

UFU Commodity Watch by Policy Officer, Dr Geoff Thompson 

In recent months, farmers and vets have been anecdotally highlighting concerns about the increase in sheep scab in parts of Northern Ireland. In response, the Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practising in Northern Ireland will be holding an open meeting on Tuesday the 12th of March at Greenmount College at 7.45pm to explore whether demand exists for a programme to combat the disease in Northern Ireland.

Scab, which is a form of allergic dermatitis caused by the faeces of the sheep scab mite, is a significant welfare concern for affected sheep as well as an economic concern for producers and the wider wool industry.

In Scotland, vets started to develop a control strategy for the disease over a decade ago and Wales has recently launched its own eradication programme. The event at Greenmount will include an open discussion on the current situation in Northern Ireland, along with various aspects of disease treatment and control. The event will also offer the opportunity to learn about the current Welsh eradication programme and gauge whether or not there is a desire to start a similar process of control and eradication within Northern Ireland.

To register for the free event, please email: info@vetni.co.uk with the subject line “Sheep Scab” and the names of delegates planning to attend.