Cattle scab factfile

Cattle at a local farm Photo: ITV Border

Cattle scab is a serious disease that effects cattle. Although more common in other countries, Scotland has not had any reports of the disease since the 1980s.

Here are some facts about the disease:

  • Cattle scab, also known as psoroptic mange, is caused by mites that bite the skin of the animal to feed, which causes irritation
  • It causes severe dermatitis and can have severe welfare implications if not identified and treated
  • There is usually itching and secondary infections as a result of the scabs which leads to bleeding and crusting
  • Infected animals lose weight and death can occur in extreme cases
  • Cattle may not immediately show signs of infection, which allows it to spread
  • Labatory diagnosis is the only way to identify the scab mite from other parasites that infect cattle
  • If found in a herd, all cattle must be treated
A scab mite Credit: PA