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Sheep scab research awarded £1.2m grant
“Maintaining two effective control methods is essential for our ability to control scab in the future” – Lesley Stubbings.
Project to look at development and spread of treatment resistance.

Researchers have been awarded a £1.2m grant to tackle resistance to sheep scab treatments.

The three-year project will look at how resistance to macrocyclic lactone (ML) injectables developed in the sheep scab mite Psoroptes ovis and how it has spread across the UK.

The researchers aim to be able to provide updated advice and guidelines on how to manage sheep scab and develop new diagnostic tools to track the spread of resistance.

The grant has been awarded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to researchers based at the Moredun Research Institute, the University of Glasgow, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), and the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group.

Although organophosphate (OP) sheep dips can be used as an alternative to ML injectables, they involve more complex safety requirements. There are also concerns that if they are overused it could lead to the scab mites developing resistance to OP.

Lesley Stubbings, technical consultant at SCOPS, explained: “Maintaining two effective control methods is essential for our ability to control scab in the future.

“Understanding the basis of resistance in the MLs, together with the potential for early detection, will allow the industry to develop strategies to manage and slow resistance.”

Sheep scab currently costs the UK sheep industry between £80-200 million each year.

Stew Burgess, researcher at the Moredun Research Institute and project lead, said: “Sheep scab remains a significant threat to livestock health and welfare, imposing substantial economic burdens on farmers across the UK.

“With this funding, we aim to decode the genetic basis of resistance and its spread, providing the agricultural community with vital tools and updated strategies to manage this pervasive issue effectively.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.