Sheep And Cattle Health Alert As Tick Infestation Escalates

UK - A dramatic increase in the number of ticks on the hills and uplands is causing serious disease problems in cattle and sheep.
calendar icon 6 June 2007
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ATicks also threaten hillwalkers and ramblers by transmitting Lyme disease that can cause chronic arthritis and can also attack the central nervous system and the heart.

Tick-borne infections in livestock also exacerbate other infections and are now causing high abortion rates in ewes and poor fertility in cattle.

advertisementDavid Kirkpatrick, Auchenbainzie, Thornhill, is typical of many farmers affected in the south-west of Scotland. He was left counting the cost of his tick problem after 60 of his 250 beef cows scanned as barren last autumn. He normally expects no more than 5% to be barren but last November 25% were found not to be in calf.

"At first we thought of the usual suspects like infertile bulls or an outbreak of bovine virus diarrhoea, but gradually my vet eliminated them. Extensive blood testing of the herd finally concluded that the most likely cause of the problem was ticks," explained Kirkpatrick. "All the barren cows tested positive to having been infected by ticks," he added.

Source: The Herald
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