3 August 2001

Dip your own flock

SHEEP producers are being urged to avoid visiting other flocks and dip their own flock where possible, by vets assessing the risks of spreading foot-and-mouth resulting from dipping this summer.

VLA risk research department vets believe failure to identify F&M before gathering and dipping sheep, dipping multiple flocks through the same solution or handling facilities and poor disinfection could increase disease spread.

In their Vet Risk Assessment document they also point out that using contract dippers will increase risk of F&M spread from flock to flock and believe control measures should be introduced to reduce these risks.

Suggested practices include ensuring that spent dip is treated to inactivate the virus; using a fresh dip solution on each farm; and cleansing and disinfecting people, clothing, equipment and vehicles on arrival and when leaving the farm.

Both licensed dippers and flock owners who use them should be aware that they have a responsibility to ensure that dippers licence conditions are met and that disinfection takes place. &#42