21 July 1995

Opposition scab call

OPPOSITION MPs have called on MAFF to make sheep scab notifiable.

Paul Tyler, Liberal Democrat farm and rural affairs spokesman told the House of Commons that MAFF must return to some form of notifiable disease arrangement.

"A return to the old compulsory dipping scheme will not be sufficient, however. I hope that a compulsory treatment scheme using the new products – the non-OP dips that are now available and the injectables – will deal with the problem more effectively," he said.

Elliot Morley, Labour spokesman referred to the Farm Animal Welfare Councils recent report which called for sheep scab to be reinstated as a notifiable disease.

The FAWC recognised the concern about the use of OP sheep dips.

and the need for tight control as well as the development of alternatives. In effect, the government said that the sheep industry should play a role in financing the development of alternatives," said Mr Morley.

"This is just not a realistic response because sheep farmers are among the poorest in the agriculture sector. They often have small farms, run by small self-employed families who are tough and self-reliant, but not really in a position to provide a major contribution to such research."