THE NATIONAL Office of Animal Health, which represents the UK animal medicines industry, had this response to the report:

“OP sheep dips have been extensively reviewed over the years by independent experts, and the existing products have even been repackaged to avoid any risk of the user coming into contact with the concentrate. They are valued products, effective for sheep welfare, with a broad spectrum of activity.

“We would welcome further research to identify alternatives, to give the farmer more choice. At present there are effective alternatives for some conditions and circumstances, eg. certain injectable endectocides and pour-on products; but many farmers still feel that using an OP dip best fits their needs, particularly for scab.

“Sheep scab causes considerable welfare problems. When dips were temporarily withdrawn to allow the new packaging to be developed, many farmers welcomed their re-introduction onto the market.”