Threat from ticks

4 Jul 2023
Threat from ticks

Letter in The Oban Times, 29th June 2023

Scotland is banning the use of the only spray that can control bracken, Asulox, whereas England will continue to allow it. Bracken harbours ticks which carry Lyme’s disease. We all know someone who has had Lyme’s disease, which if not diagnosed quickly can cause extreme symptoms of tiredness, headaches and worse.

Until now the Scottish Government has allowed the use of Asulox, but now are following advice from the Health and Safety Executive and banning it. In my experience the Health and Safety Executive wants to ban everything.

Banning Asulox is another nail in the coffin for hill farming and crofting, a traditional way of life that is barely viable in any case. Bracken was cut for winter bedding for cattle a century ago, and more recently kept under control by an annual spray of Asulox from backpacks or helicopter. Even so, farmers were struggling to control the spread. Every acre of bracken is four less sheep on the hill. Expect the glens near you to become more unpopulated, with no active farming as the hill land becomes covered with bracken.

Of course this central belt decision is once again a result of the Green Party dragging the SNP into doing something to the severe detriment of rural Scotland. I imagine the SNP Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon was given a hard time by hill farmers at The Royal Highland Show last week.

Governments should have found an acceptable method of controlling bracken, then banned Asulox.


Angus MacDonald
Highlands Liberal Democrat Councillor and Westminster Candidate

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.