With sheep scanning in full swing across NI at present, local scanners are being urged to maintain high levels of hygiene between farms.

“Good hygiene is needed to stop the spread of scab as mites can hang on to hurdles and the walls of trailers,” said Larne-based vet Paul Crawford.

“Aside from scab, different strains of footroot and CODD (which cause lameness) can also spread between flocks on the floor of dirty scanning trailers,” he added.

The advice from Crawford is to make sure scanning equipment has been washed down before it leaves each farmyard.

He acknowledges that scanning contractors are usually in a rush but maintains that a quick wash will lead to much better biosecurity.

“Farmers have a role to play to make sure they provide access to water so a scanner can clean down. Five minutes spent washing would make a big difference,” Crawford said.