Mild weather increases fluke

7 December 2001




Mild weather increases fluke

LIVER fluke cases have increased this autumn and mild weather is providing ideal conditions for fluke to overwinter and infect animals next spring, warn experts.

Numbers of liver fluke cases were high in September and October, according to Norvartis Health National Fluke Monitor.

Although slightly lower than last year, risk is still high and conditions are ideal for fluke to overwinter, says SAC senior vet investigation officer George Mitchell. "Abattoir figures for Scotland and northern England are alarming with more than a third of cattle and 15% of sheep livers condemned with fluke in September and October."

Producers in areas normally free from fluke are also reporting increased cases, says SAC vet Graham Baird. "Some units dont expect fluke problems based on past experience, but infection seems to be spreading outwards from established areas. Where unexpected animal losses are occurring in herds and flock, consider fluke."

Where fluke is confirmed,flukicides can be effective, he adds. Other strategies are based on keeping stock away from wet areas. &#42


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