Important and useful updates to dipping code of practice to be shared in SCOPS webinar

18th August 2023

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group is pleased to be able to share some important updates to the cross-industry Code of Practice for Mobile Sheep Dipping, via a free-to-attend webinar on Thursday 7th September 2023.

The main changes to the code are around how organophosphate (OP) can be supplied to mobile contractors for use on clients’ farms, and the role of farmers, contractors and prescribers to ensure this is done properly and legally.

Mobile dippers, sheep farmers and prescribers are encouraged to attend the online event at 1pm, which will discuss all elements of effective, safe dipping and focus on the role of mobile sheep dippers in keeping on top of sheep scab in particular. CPD points will be available to collect. Click here to register.

Speaking on behalf of SCOPS, independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings says: “Mobile sheep dipping contractors provide an increasingly important service for the sheep sector, as fewer on-farm facilities are available. They can reach a large number of businesses to treat sheep for ectoparasites and, in particular, sheep scab. However, it is vital this is carried out safely and effectively which means farmers, contractors and prescribers need to know how to use OP dip correctly.”

A number of industry organisations, including SCOPS and the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC), in conjunction with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), created the Mobile Sheep Dipping Code of Practice in 2021 and have worked together again to agree these important updates.

Jill Hewit, NAAC Chief Executive, comments: “Our mobile sheep dipping members offer a professional service to their farmer clients and we’re delighted members will be able to work more effectively under the updated to the Code of Practice. The code now offers a more productive framework for contractors and ensures farmers customers and the prescribers selling the dip also know their roles and responsibilities.”

The importance of farmers being able to access top quality mobile dipping services has been highlighted by initiatives such as the For Flock’s Sake sheep scab project, to give farmers without on-farm dipping facilities the option to treat sheep with an OP dip rather than relying solely on injectable treatments.

Ms Stubbings adds: “SCOPS has been and will continue to be very vocal about how important it is for sheep not be treated with an OP dip in a jetter or shower. These application routes are not licenced for OPs and deliver a sub-lethal dose of the product, encouraging the development of resistance to organophosphates. We already have sheep scab mites that are resistant to injectable treatments so cannot afford to have resistance to OPs too.

“Safe, effective dipping is important for all sheep farmers whether you are dipping yourself or using a contractor – so this SCOPS webinar will be a useful one-hour session for everyone.”