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Sheep Scab: Disease Control

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 36755, tabled on 20 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support the Government is providing to farmers who are struggling to manage the outbreak of sheep scab, or psoroptic mange, on their farms.

Answered on

28 July 2021

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Endemic diseases like sheep scab affect animal health and welfare, as well as productivity. As set out in the 25 year Environment Plan and the Agricultural Transition Plan: June 2021 progress update, we are working with industry to reduce the impact of endemic diseases, including through the launch in 2022 of an Annual Health and Welfare Review for eligible livestock farmers.

Sheep Scab initiatives are currently managed at a local level but we are working with Devolved Administrations to plan how we tackle the condition across regions.

A group of experts have recently been successful in a bid for funding from Defra via the Rural Development Programme for England to lead a two-year community-led project to improve the control of sheep scab in three hot spot areas where scab currently presents a significant problem: the North West, the Midlands and the South West. Farmers participating in this initiative will receive a unique combination of on-farm advice, best practice training, and free blood testing.

Farmers seeking further advice on sheep scab can contact the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA).