Pictured with the new mobile sheep dipping lorry are (from left): Neil Fell, and Andrew Cooke and Jon Reader of Synergy Farm Health
Pictured with the new mobile sheep dipping lorry are (from left): Neil Fell, and Andrew Cooke and Jon Reader of Synergy Farm Health.

The largest independent farm animal veterinary practice in the UK, Synergy Farm Health, which has multiple sites in Dorset and the surrounding counties, has launched a new service for sheep flocks across the South-west of England and into Wales.

The company has joined forces with award-winning NR Fell Mobile Sheep Dipping, by entering into a joint venture partnership.

“Our extensive team has admired and recommended the service of Neil Fell and his innovative mobile sheep dipping provision, for the past few years,” Synergy Farm Health director Jon Reader said. “Neil has been extremely supportive to flocks across the UK from his Northumberland base, and we are proud, through the commission and delivery of our new, state-of-the-art lorry, to now be able to offer mobile plunge dipping to flocks across the South-west and Wales.”

The new jointly owned truck is self-sufficient when on site, and therefore able to provide a mobile sheep dipping service to flocks of any size and location. The highly effective and unique plunge dipper is hydraulically controlled, to ensure gradual, smooth, plunge dipping of sheep.

The calm process, with minimal flock handling, ensures the dip has time to ingress into the fleece whether dipping prior to sale or to bring relief to those flocks suffering the torments of Sheep Scab. Dipping also treats blowfly strike, ticks, keds and lice. The service includes the removal of all excess dip from site and licenced disposal.

“When dipping our flock at home, I thought there had to be a better, less stressful, safer and more effective method, so I set about designing a system to work in a completely different way,” Neil Fell said. “The design progressed and the process evolved. I won a farm innovation award in 2019 and the business grew rapidly.

“My reputation is key and therefore if I was going to expand the service in the South-west, it had to be with a company that reflected my ethics,” he added. “I’m chuffed to be able to work with Synergy going forward. I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous of leaving the new build machine with Synergy Farm Health’s veterinary technician Andrew Cooke. It really is a great piece of kit, with extra technology to make the dipping process even better.”

Synergy regional lead vet Emily Gascoigne, an RCVS recognised specialist in sheep health and production said she saw a valuable role for the new mobile dipper for treating sheep scab in breeding-age sheep.

“I used to be concerned if we identified sheep scab in ewes as lambing approached,” she added, “however the slow plunge dipping provides an option for flock owners with minimal handling and stress to the sheep throughout the whole process.”