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Reducing Reliance on Wormers: Using Lamb performance to Optimise Treatment

About Reducing Reliance on Wormers: Using Lamb performance to Optimise Treatment

  • Infection with roundworms is one of the most important production-limiting diseases in lambs, costing UK sheep producers £42.2 million per year in treatment and lost production (Charlier et al, 2020, Preventative Veterinary Medicine, 182; 105103)
  • Infections can cause production losses sucah as reduction in live weight gain and reductions in meat/wood quality/quantity
  • Worms have developed resistance (know as anthelmintice resistance) to many of the wormers classes that are availabile, however, this is not uniform accross all famrs and the best way to determine how well the wormer work on your farm is to conduct a wormer treatment check.  (See fact sheet Vol 6, No 12, Nov 2016 for more information about wormer classes available and how to monitor wormer efficacy).

Key points

  • Roundworm control is a year-round issue with the main effects being in growing animals in their first grazing season
  • Disease in sheep is caused by a number of roundworm species
  • Anthelmintics (wormers) have traditionally been the main control options for many flocks, but this has led to the development of resistance to these products, which means we need to reduce our reliance on them
  • Using wormers correctly along the lines of ‘using as much as is needed and as little as possible’ is now a critical part of worm control
  • In this factsheet we discuss how weight and performance data can be used to optimise wormer use in lambs

Our Experts

Dr Fiona Kenyon

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