Parasite threat has to be faced

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thousands of breeding and store sheep will move around the UK this autumn, carrying with them a number of serious threats to the health and future profitability of the flocks they join – yet most sheep farmers will do little to minimise the risks, it was claimed this week.

Sheep breeder and chairman of the sustainable control of parasites in sheep group (Scops), Peter Baber said: “It doesn’t matter that they look well or [are] from a known source, bought-in sheep still carry the potential to wreak havoc. There is a long list of potential threats, including sheep scab, lice, roundworms and liver fluke.”

Scops’ advice to farmers was:

• Isolate in-coming stock, preferably in a yard for the first 24-48 hours and then away from the resident flock for at least three weeks.

• Treat the sheep against the unseen threats from parasites