UK: New initiative launched to control sheep scab

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To improve the control of sheep scab within a few hot spot areas in the United Kingdom, a new initiative has been launched that uses serological testing.

Participating farmers will be given on-farm advice and free blood testing using the sheep scab ELISA test. The scheme will also cover the payment of costs of visits by a local veterinary surgeon.

“Sheep scab is a real scourge for the sheep industry in the UK. This new initiative gives us the opportunity to get ahead of the curve in terms of scab control, setting a new benchmark for how we deal with the disease in the future,” Dr Stewart Burgess, project lead from Moredun Research Institute.

Sheep scab, a highly infectious disease, costs the UK sheep industry around £70-200 million every year.