Monday, 25 March 2013

Sheep Ticks and the Tick Bite Prevention Week

To coincide with the Tick Bite Prevention Week, 24-30 March 2013, the Trust has published its latest Members' Briefing that covers Sheep Ticks.

Sheep ticks are a curse on ground-nesting moorland birds, on wild moorland animals and on domestic livestock but more significantly the diseases they carry are a threat to humans, and in the UK, this is principally from Lyme Disease.

The Brucellosis and Associated Diseases Awareness-UK (BADA-UK to their friends) has organised their annual Tick Bite Prevention Week.  For more information, see the announcement that BADA-UK has circulated.  Wendy Fox is the chairman of BADA-UK and she is partially sighted and paralysed from the waist down as a result of Lyme disease.  This is not a disease that happens elsewhere, it is here in the UK, now.

Bracken litter is ideal habitat for sheep ticks and this explains my direct interest in the subject.  Many bracken beds are located beside footpaths, which give ticks easy access to humans, and many domestic stock and wild animals use these same beds for shelter, access and grazing.  An adult red deer can carry 5,000 sheep ticks!

Bracken control reduces the amount of tick-favourable habitat and therefore the threat from the diseases they carry.  The reprieve for asulam, during 2013 at least, will allow important bracken control programmes to continue and even allow new ones to start.

Against this background, the Tick Bite Prevention Week is timely and worthy of support.  For details of funraising for BADA-UK see the Wagathon post, below.

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