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New project aims to eradicate Sheep Scab from Wales

Prosiect newydd yn anelu i gael gwared ar y Clafr Defaid o Gymru

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has awarded Coleg Sir Gar a three-year contract to work on eradicating Sheep Scab in Wales.

Sheep Scab is one of the major disease risks for the sheep industry and can be spread through failures of biosecurity, complex movement patterns, and the mixing of sheep on and off farms, such as through common grazing.

The aims and objectives of the project awarded to Coleg Sir Gar are to improve animal health and welfare standards by supporting industry to eradicate Sheep Scab from Wales.

This consists of:

  • Significantly reducing Sheep Scab outbreaks on Welsh farms.
  • Accurate understanding of the incidence and prevalence of sheep scab in Wales, including the patterns of its occurrence and spread, to best target control measures.
  • Promoting accurate and timely diagnosis of the disease when it occurs, and treating appropriately in a successful, environmentally sustainable, and safe way.
  • Increasing awareness within the sheep industry in Wales of the importance of biosecurity and safe sourcing of sheep, to control sheep scab, within the context of other infectious diseases.
  • Significantly improving biosecurity within the sheep sector in Wales by designing, delivering, and measuring actions to stop the spread of sheep scab on and off farms, at markets and other points of sheep collection, through short and long-range transport and at common grazing.

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “The sheep industry in Wales is iconic and is our largest livestock sector.

“Sheep Scab is one of the most contagious diseases of sheep and a difficult challenge for the industry.

“Effective control of sheep scab, both on a local and national scale is essential. Sheep must be scab-free to be productive and to have a good quality of life. 

“The All-Wales Sheep Scab Eradication Project will see Coleg Sir Gar working closely with the industry to control and ultimately eradicate Sheep Scab from Wales.

“I have long said a collaborative approach is key to success and by working together we can reach our goals.”

John Griffiths from Coleg Sir Gar said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the funds to deliver the All-Wales Sheep Scab Eradication Project in partnership with the Royal Vet College.

“Evidence of Sheep Scab is frequently confirmed across Wales. It is hoped this consolidated industry-wide effort will achieve significant gains in eradicating this disease.' 

“Working with Dr Neil Paton of the Royal Vet College we plan to roll out the project in 2023.”