Campaign launched aimed at improving the way Lyme disease is combated in Scotland

Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a tick

A campaign has been launched aimed at improving the way a potentially debilitating bacterial infection is combated in Scotland.

Lyme disease is normally picked up through tick bites and now gamekeepers and grouse moor managers want the way it is tested and treated to be improved.

There have also been calls for a public awareness campaign into the condition in a petition which has been sent to the Scottish Government.

The Tick-borne Illness Campaign Scotland was set up by Lorraine Murray.

The Montrose woman was fit and healthy before being struck by a tick bite in the summer of 2014.

Before the bite, she was taking part in triathlons but after contracting the disease she was barely able to leave her bed.

She described the horror of the condition.

She said: “I just thought how on earth could this happen? How was it that I went from super active to seriously ill within months?

“I now spent most of the day in my bed, just myself and all my symptoms.

“It was a scary and lonely place.

“I would get up and get the kids out the door and go back to my bed.”

Carrience Conoghan, coordinator at the Speyside Moorland Group, said testing would reduce the risk to members of the public enjoying the countryside.

She said: “It is important to carry out tick control – which includes sheep dipping and bracken spraying – as part of our wider moorland management practice.

“This not only benefits the grouse but additional bird species and reduces risk to members of the public enjoying the countryside.

“Moorland groups around Scotland fully support his petition as anyone who contracts Lyme disease can be severely affected.”

The petitions committee of the Scottish Government will consider the matter on Thursday, September 14.