An animated cartoon has been developed to help farmers detect and treat the scourge of sheep scab.
The contagious disease is estimated to cost the Scottish sheep industry around £9 million per annum in treatment, control and reductions in performance, and while a commercial test has been developed that can detect even sub-clinical cases, the product’s manufacturers say many farmers are failing to apply it correctly.
To help shepherds make the most effective use of the blood test, the Moredun Research Institute has produced a short cartoon which covers best practice in its use, including the importance of randomly testing at least 12 individuals from a flock to determine flock-level disease status – regardless of flock size.
It is believed many farmers currently test low numbers of sheep, which reduces the ability of the test to detect disease and can result in mistaken “all-clears”.
The test can also be used to target treatments, which helps slow the development of resistance.
The animation can be found at moredun.org.uk