15 June 2001

Reducing dipping risk

SHEEP dipping contractors and all their team members will only be permitted to dip, shower or jet stock if they are licensed to do so by the MLC from June 20.

DEFRA (formerly MAFF) says sheep dipping presents a significant risk of transmitting foot-and-mouth, but it needs to go ahead for animal welfare reasons. In order to cut risk of disease spread, it has introduced a licensing scheme to control the movement of contractors, allowing them to operate either in infected or controlled areas.

"After June 20 it will be illegal to dip sheep without a licence, so contractors must apply for a licence quickly," says the National Association of Agricultural Contractors.

Licences can be obtained free from the MLC (01908-844790, fax 01908-844788). &#42