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Stackyard News May 06

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    Campaign To Reinstate Banned Sheep Dip Gains Momentum

NFUS has secured the support of the Scottish Executive in its campaign to overturn the ban imposed on the use of cypermethrin sheep dip.

sheep field

The Scottish Executive has now written to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) requesting that it introduces regional authorisations to allow cypermethrin use in Scotland. This latest move is based on evidence heard at a meeting at NFUS headquarters with the VMD, Scottish Executive, SEPA and other stakeholders.

At the end of February, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate suspended the UK marketing of cypermethrin sheep dip, the only alternative to organophosphate dips. The decision was based on some evidence of pollution problems in England and Wales.

Chairman of the NFUS Livestock Committee Nigel Miller said:

"I hope we are moving a step closer to getting cypermethrin back on the market in Scotland. The VMD's decision to withdraw cypermethrin dips across the UK was based on evidence of problems south of the border, not here. Yet it has deprived Scottish producers of a vital tool in the fight against sheep scab. In particular, it is of critical importance for organic producers as cypermethrin was their only dipping option.

"We have a good track record in Scotland where a combination of good practice and industry support has minimised and prevented environmental problems with sheep dip use. Importantly at our meeting, SEPA, the independent enforcement and monitoring authority, was able to advise the VMD that the number of sheep dip related pollution incidents has been at a low level.

"Regulation should always be correctly targeted and proportionate to the risks; this ban fits neither of these criteria. We need this product reintroduced as soon as possible and ahead of the autumn dipping period. I warmly welcome the Executive's efforts on this and sincerely hope that the VMD grant the Executive's and industry's request for the reintroduction cypermethrin in Scotland. The environmental and animal health evidence now presented justifies such a move."

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