MORE CATTLE movement around Britain means liver fluke should be considered a disease of dairy herds.

The past four years have seen a reappearance of fluke in milking cows, says Graham David of the Vet Lab Agency, Shrewsbury. “This is mainly due to wet summers affecting the life cycle of the snail host. But we have also seen producers buying in animals which bring fluke with them, contaminating their land.”

Symptoms of fluke include a gradual cut in milk yield, plus diarrhoea. It can also be the cause of downer cows after calving, warns independent vet consultant Tony Andres.

The problem is that flukicide products are only suitable for treating dry cows, advises Mr David.