Top vet praises pre-sale sheep treatment

SRUC top vet Brian Hosie
SRUC top vet Brian Hosie

FORMER St Boswells’ Greycrook vet Brian Hosie has welcomed as “a good step in the right direction” the pre-sale treatment of about 500 tups for sheep scab and anthelmintic-resistant roundworms, piloted for the first time in the world at this year’s Kelso Tup Sales.

Head of Scotland’s Rural College Veterinary Services, Mr Hosie said two further diseases needed closer monitoring when sheep changed hands – the Maedi visna virus and Caseous lymphadenitis, a chronic, contagious bacterial skin disease.

He said: “It is encouraging to see sellers at Kelso taking responsibility for assuring after-sale scab and roundworm-free status of tups for buyers.

“If the same principles were applied to the sale of replacement breeding females and store lambs, and other critical diseases, we would see a marked improvement in sheep sector biosecurity.”

Nineteen sellers at Kelso volunteered for Zoetis’ SureRam scheme first carrying out a worm and scab treatment moxidectin-2 per cent, or an organophosphate plunge dip, within 28 days before the sale, then administering the derquantel-abamection dual-active worm drench the day before.

And the combined cost of both treatments is less than £4 per tup.

Zoetis vet Dave Armstrong said: “The scheme aims to reduce a buyer’s risk of introducing anthelmintic-resistant round worms or sheep scab to their flock and make the critical practice of quarantine more practical for purchased rams, which often need to be put to work too soon after arrival on the buyer’s farm.”