16 August 2002

Shetlands secure

INCREASING levels of resistant worms in sheep and goats make precise use of drenches essential to avoid reducing their effectiveness, says Brian Jennings, chairman of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance.

To help reduce worm resistance, RUMA has released guides on effective treatment use.

The guidelines say a number of simple steps can help in the fight against resistance. First, stock should not be dosed unnecessarily; second, the correct dose should always be used; and, third, using the same wormer family for extended periods must be avoided.

Mr Jennings says that unless producers follow these simple steps the industry could be left without any effective drenches in future. "New treatments take years to develop and cost millions of £s in research and development."

Guidelines are available from RUMA (020-7331 7301 or www.ruma.org.uk). &#42

A MAJOR success has been achieved by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).

After nearly 30 years of doubt the future of the Shetland sheep breed is secure, according to Rosemary Mansbridge, RBST chief executive.

The breed has now officially been removed from the RBSTs priority list with about 500 Shetlands now thriving in the Shetland Isles and the mainland.

"Now the Shetland has been restored to a position of relative strength, more producers will be confident enough to capitalise on its advantages," says Ms Mansbridge.

However, this is not the end of the Shetlands association with the RBST. It will remain a part of both the Trusts Scrapie Genotyping scheme and its Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Scheme. &#42