21 March 2001
Welcome for dip spray probe
By FWi staff
CALLS from Government advisors for trials to determine the safety and efficacy of spraying sheep dip have been welcomed by experts.
A report by the Veterinary Products Committee recommends that dip manufacturers and sprayer manufacturers and distributors work together.
They should urgently set up trials to provide data to establish whether dip should be delivered through sprays, showers or jetters, says the VPC.
The VPC warns farmers that there is little objective evidence that showering, spraying or jetting offers the all-round protection offered by plunge dipping.
Independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings said: “I agree with the VPC but its been a long time coming. Weve been calling for this for a long time.
Evidence suggested that dip applied by sprayers, showers and jetters was effective against blowfly, said Ms Stubbings.
But trials were urgently required because “there is not a shred of evidence worldwide” that they can prevent or treat scab, she added.
And as only one product is authorised for spraying and dipping sheep, most operators use dip “off-label”, without controls on dilution, said Ms Stubbings.
Moves to provide more data were also welcomed by Cheshire sheep vet Chris Lewis. He said: “Im one hundred percent behind the VPC on this.”
Sprayers and jetters have become more popular in recent years. They are faster than plunge dipping and use less dip, making it easier to dispose of residue.