Farming: Tick care in the countryside

Gamekeepers throughout Scotland are spearheading a scheme to remind the public to be vigilant when it comes to ticks which can spread the serious Lyme disease illness to humans.

The Regional Moorland Group said that #tickcareinthecountryside campaign coincided with a surge in calls to NHS 24 call handlers who were receiving more tick-related calls as the warmer weather set in across the country.

“Ticks are particularly prevalent during the warmer months from March to October so we are encouraging the public to take extra care when out enjoying the countryside, particularly dog walkers as tick can attach easily to their furry coats,” said Glenprosen keeper, Bruce Cooper.

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He said that ticks could transmit Lyme disease (borrelia) to humans, dogs and horses and were prevalent in areas of dense vegetation including woodland, heathland and bracken, where most humans pick up ticks during days out to the countryside.

Sheep farming is closely integrated with grouse management and flocks of sheep are also an important element of tick management. Ticks can be killed by treating sheep with an acaricide dip, reducing the danger to the sheep themselves and limiting the chance of ticks attaching themselves to other animals, birds and humans.

Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups are also supporting Lyme Disease UK’s annual #wakeuptolyme campaign which aims to raise awareness on how to prevent tick bites, how to safely remove ticks and the importance of early treatment for people who become unwell following a bite



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