The productivity and welfare implications of sheep scab can be very serious.
Sheep scab is a disease caused by a parasitic mite - Psoroptes ovis - which lives on the skin surface. The feeding activities of the mite cause irritation and distress, which can result in stunting or severe loss of condition, loss of fleece and death - especially in lambs.
Sheep Scab (Scotland) Order 2010
The Scottish Sheep Scab Industry Working Group was set up in 2007 to work in partnership with Government to consider the development of legislation to control and reduce the incidence of sheep scab in Scotland. SAC participated in this group. The Sheep Scab (Scotland) order 2010 was produced following extensive consultation with that group.
Primary responsibility for controlling sheep scab still falls to the owner or keeper of sheep and the new Order is designed to concentrate attention on those farmers who have failed to treat their animals.
The Order places a legal obligation on any person who knows or suspects that sheep or carcases in their possession or in their charge of having sheep scab to notify that fact to the Divisional Veterinary Manager (DVM) as soon as possible.
If an inspector suspects that sheep scab exists, and owners have failed to either treat or slaughter the affected sheep, the Order contains provisions for a notice to be served by an Inspector, requiring the owner/keeper to arrange and pay for a veterinary enquiry to either confirm or rule out the disease.
Download or view The Sheep Scab (Scotland) Order 2010 courtesy of the Scottish Government website.
A summary of the signs, preventative measures and treatment of scab is available on the next page.
Download our Sheep Scab Checklist and other information.