Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 22, 2020 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, in its efforts to control the Dermatophilosis (Derma) in animals, has allocated $300,000 to the Ministry of Agriculture in the 2020 Budget towards the procurement of the drug Bayticol, to the tune of three hundred thousand dollars, said Director of Agriculture, Melvin James.

Dermatophilosis is a skin disease caused by a bacterium called Dermatophilus congolensis (derm-ah-TOFill-us con-go-LEN-sis). The disease can affect many species of domestic and wild animals and occasionally humans.

Mr. James said that “over the past two years, we have had some major challenges resulting in death and morbidity, especially in cattle, sheep and goat with the disease called Dermatophilosis.”

The director said that in 2017 Hurricanes Maria and Irma created a favourable environment for the tick to flourish resulting in increased animal mortality “to the point where I think we lost about 27% of the animals, maybe in excess of 1000 animals.”

The director, however, believes that with “the use of the Bayticol or the external tick control, (something that you put onto the animal) it will kill the ticks on the animal.”

The Ministry of Agriculture has identified the Dermatophilosis and the Green Vervet Monkey as two major hindrances to crop and livestock production in the Federation.