Sheep Scab – important information for sheep farmers

Sheep Scab – important information for sheep farmers

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

SCOPS (Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep) have issued a news brief advising that sheep farmers must take note of recently published evidence* of resistance in sheep scab mites to the 3-ML endectocide products, ensuring they only use these products when necessary and follow company instructions carefully.

 SCOPS, who have been aware of this work, have already held a Stakeholder and expert workshop to look at how we can effectively manage scab in the light of this new information.

 “Sheep farmers should not be alarmed at this stage,” says Lesley Stubbings of SCOPS. 

 “A diagnosis is vital in avoiding over-use of scab treatments so, if you think you may have sheep scab, contact your vet who can arrange for a diagnosis. We now also have a blood test that shows whether sheep have been exposed to scab without having to wait to see clinical signs”.

 SCOPS urges sheep farmers who suspect that an endectocide treatment may not have been fully effective to check that the dose rate was correct, that the whole group was treated properly, and there’s been no chance of reinfection. They should also report any suspected lack of efficacy to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

 “Farmers should also inform their vet, who can confirm the presence of scab mites and advise on further treatment options,” she says.  One option is to remove any remaining mites by plunge dipping in an organophosphorus (OP). ‘

 “But remember that an OP dip should not be applied by either a shower or a jetter. Not only is this unlicensed, it’s not an effective treatment against sheep scab.”

 SCOPS Chair Peter Baber also recommends that farmers take action to protect themselves, by making sure they quarantine any sheep coming into their flocks, and treat against sheep scab.

or more information on this and other parasite control matters for sheep, see


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