Disease Control

All people keeping cattle, sheep, goats and pigs (even if they are just as pets) are required within 30 days to be registered (and notify any changes in detail) with the appropriate authority i.e.

Sheep and Goats – notify Scottish Government Rural Directorate (SGRD)
Cattle and Pigs – notify Divisional Veterinary Manager, Animal Health

Please remember that the requirement to register animals also applies to pet animals.

There is also a legal requirement for all commercial poultry keepers with 50 or more birds to register their premises. The voluntary registration of premises with less than 50 birds is welcomed. For further information on how to register go to the Great Britain Poultry Register.  

In the event of a disease outbreak, the precise location of all livestock is essential for effective measures to be introduced to control and eradicate highly contagious diseases.

The ever present threat of disease outbreaks means it is imperative that adequate and up to date records of animal movements are maintained by auctioneers, hauliers, farmers and crofters and others who keep livestock, as these are designed to facilitate the tracing of animal & vehicle movements in the event of disease outbreaks. Routine checks are carried out to ensure this is the case.

Rabies Controls

Illegal imports are a very possible route through which diseases, not endemic in this country, could be introduced and spread both to humans and animals (e.g. Rabies). Due to the vast coastline of the Argyll and Bute Council area we rely on observant police officers and members of the public to inform us of any suspected illegal landing of animals.

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows dog, cat and ferret owners to bring their pets into Britain through designated entry points from certain qualifying countries without entering quarantine, providing they comply with certain regulations e.g. vaccinated, correct documentation, treated against specific parasites.

Sheep scab

Sheep scab is a contagious skin disease of sheep caused by a parasitic mite that can cause a severe reaction & distress to sheep. This can result in loss of condition, loss of fleece and if left untreated can cause death. Lice, mycotic dermatitis and other diseases can give similar symptoms and so it is important to get a correct veterinary diagnosis (by your own vet or SAC) and treat accordingly.

The Sheep Scab (Scotland) Order 2010 as amended by the Sheep Scab (Scotland)(Amendment) Order 2011 requires the owner of any sheep or sheep carcass which they suspect of being affected by sheep scab to notify the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) (Perth in the case of Argyll and Ayr in the case of Bute). 

Should the AHVLA be notified of suspect scab by someone other than the owner/person in charge, the AHVLA will notify said farmer/person in charge and will also notify Argyll and Bute Council.

The identification and treatment of the disease is the responsibility of the owner and when treatment is completed, they must notify the AHVLA that this has been done in writing.  The notification must include the date(s) of treatment, the number of animals involved and the type of product used.

The AHVLA and the Council share information about sheep scab within the local authority area and determine joint or separate advisory/enforcement action to remedy any problems.

Sheep affected with sheep scab must not be moved onto or off any premises except:

  • For treatment
  • For immediate slaughter
  • Under the authority of a licence or Notice issued by an inspector.

Bluetongue in Cattle and Sheep

Bluetongue is a viral disease affecting sheep, cattle, deer, goats and camelids (camels, llamas, alpacas, guanaco and vicuña). Although sheep are most severely affected, cattle are the main mammalian reservoir of the virus and are very important in the epidemiology of the disease. Bluetongue is a notifiable disease in the UK and suspected cases must be reported immediately to the Divisional Veterinary Manager at the local Animal Health Office.

There are many different strains (serotypes) of Bluetongue with each given a number (currently up to 27).  Animals that recover from infection with one serotype will be immune to that strain but not to others.

The virus is transmitted by biting midges of the genus Culicoides and not normally from direct contact with infected animals.  Peak midge populations occur during the late summer and autumn in Europe and therefore this is the time when Bluetongue is most commonly seen.  The midges can be carried very large distances on the wind (over 200km) and this has been the primary way Bluetongue serotypes are introduced into new areas.

Find out more about this here.