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Piloting an approach to Scab control on Welsh Sheep farms

Paton, Neil; Burgess, Stewart; Bartley, Kathryn; Griffiths, John; Jones, Edgar


Neil Paton

Stewart Burgess

Kathryn Bartley

John Griffiths

Edgar Jones


Sheep scab caused by Psoroptes ovis, is a disease of concern to many stakeholders in Wales due to its welfare implications. There are good diagnostic tests and treatments to deal with this issue but it remains a problem in flocks. Coordinated approaches are required to deal with this issue and these have been trialled in Wales.
Pilot design
Index farms are positively diagnosed using a skin scrape to identify mites. Contiguous farms are identified and antibody responses are then used to identify infested farms. All infested farms are treated by either dipping or injecting with approved products depending on farmer choice.
Three index farms and 12 contiguous farms were identified and a total of 7 infested farms were found. Four were treated with dipping and 3 with an injectable ML product.
In order to avoid reinfestation of farms, dealing with disease on contiguous farms is crucial. By having an external organising party, three local outbreaks were dealt with in a short space of time with appropriate diagnosis and treatment being carried out. Some farmers were uncooperative and strategies such as greater external support and veterinary involvement might alleviate these issues in the future. This approach is recommended to vets in the field when dealing with scab on farm.


Paton, N., Burgess, S., Bartley, K., Griffiths, J., & Jones, E. (in press). Piloting an approach to Scab control on Welsh Sheep farms. Veterinary Record Open,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 11, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 7, 2022
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL