Dipping sheep at Balephuil in 1987
Photograph of sheep-dipping at Balephuil in 1987.
Courtesy of Mrs Nan MacClounnan
This photograph shows sheep being put through a dip-bath at Balephuil in 1987. Twice-yearly dipping was compulsory up to 1989 in an effort to eradicate scab, a disease caused by a parasitic mite that can result in severe loss of condition and death, especially of lambs. Dipping also treated other parasites such as blowfly maggots and ticks.
The majority of dips contain organophosphates (OP) which were originally developed as chemical warfare agents. The effects of exposure can include headache, exhaustion, blurred vision, muscle twitching and confusion. People subsequently handling sheep can also be at risk.
As well as being hazardous to health, sheep dips are harmful to wildlife and the environment, and their disposal is problematical. Nowadays most crofters on Tiree use non-OP pour-on treatments to control parasites on their sheep.
Colour photograph of sheep-dipping in Balephuil in 1987.
Sheep-dipping in Balephuil in August 1987. L-R: (front) Etty MacDonald, unknown, unknown, (back) unknown, John MacPhail, John Brown, David MacClounnan.