ACTION to tackle the costly problem of sheep scab will be discussed during a programme of seminars at the NSA Sheep Event at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern this month.

The topic is one of several under the event’s umbrella theme Securing the Future of the Sheep Industry and will look at tackling the ongoing battle against the disease.

The NSA’s Joanne Briggs said: “Scab is a significant health and welfare problem that greatly reduces revenue. There are many barriers to its control and therefore talking about coordinated action against the disease remains an industry priority.”

The seminar on tackling sheep scab, a collaborative approach, follows the English Stamp Out Scab project in 2013/14, an initiative to raise awareness of the disease.

At the event on Wednesday, July 30, the seminar will examine what the industry needs to be doing to keep on top of the disease and if eradication can ever be achieved.

Kate Phillips of ADAS, who helped deliver the project, will be guest speaker.

“Practical measures such as accurate diagnosis, correct administration of treatments and biosecurity measures are all fundamental in helping to control the disease.

“However, responsibility does not just fall to farmers. Everyone involved with sheep from hauliers to scanners has a role to play if we are to eradicate scab completely,” she said.

There will be a packed seminar schedule at this year’s sheep event, which kicks off at 10am when MP George Eustace officially opens the event.

Seminars in the morning include developing a sheep fluke control programme and an insight into the NSA next generation project.

At 12.30 there’s the big debate �on sheep production in the uplands, balancing red meat supply with environmental impact, looking at how to promote the importance of producing red meat in the uplands rather than seeing sheep as the enemy of the environment.

The afternoon will also see seminars on reporting and recording sheep movements, and the outlook for the sheep industry with the launch of the NSA’s and NFU’s inaugural Sheep Vision report.

The day will also include practical demonstrations, flock health planning and a new solar energy area.

There will be lots of industry trade stands as well as sheep breeders, breed societies and commercial companies.

There will be a return of the biennial sheepdog sale as well as the Ready Steady Cook-style contest, a butchery demonstration, British Wool Marketing Board wool clinic, the NSA Young Shepherd of the Year final, English Shearer of the Year final, open shearing competition, Tornado Wire Fencer of the Year competition, stock judging competitions, including live and carcase, and a fleece competition.