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New sheep scab controls
New controls are being introduced on 17 December 2010 to deal with the persistent problem of sheep scab in Scotland.
The legislation will put a legal obligation on any person who suspects that sheep in their possession or care have the infection to let their local Divisional Veterinary Manager know as soon as possible. Movement restrictions will then apply until the sheep are either treated or slaughtered, or a veterinary surgeon provides a negative diagnosis.
The changes also mean that owners or keepers who fail to take action on sheep scab can have movement restrictions imposed on their flock until the issue has been dealt with. They will also be liable for prosecution.
Simon Hall, Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland, said
"There are effective treatments available for sheep scab but we have to be realistic and accept that eradication from Scotland is not feasible at the moment.
"The majority of sheep keepers are already taking steps to keep sheep scab out of their flocks and to deal with problems when they occur. The new sheep scab order is intended to support their efforts by reducing the spread of scab from infected flocks.
"I would encourage all sheep keepers to source sheep responsibly and to take prompt action if they suspect scab in their flock."