8 December 2000

Form strategy to beat worms

STRATEGIC parasite control, using faecal egg counting packs, may be a better option than traditional dosing practices on sheep farms.

Speaking at the conference, Teagasc parasitologist Barbara Good said two strategies of worm control existed. One used regular dosing that encountered problems with anthelmintic resistance and meat residues. The other was a strategic approach which avoided rising faecal egg counts in lambs, using mixed grazing, faecal egg counting and strategic dosing.

She said resistance had been reported in all three wormer categories. But it could be limited by annual rotational of wormers and careful dosing.

Seamus Hanrahan, also of Teagasc, added that correct calibration of dosing guns and dosing to maximum weight of sheep was crucial. In several cases poor dosing was the cause of failure of wormers rather than parasite resistance.

"All drugs are good, but to improve efficacy it is important to integrate pasture management and correct dosing techniques." &#42