10 February 2016 | Online since 2003

Wet winter may increase risk of liver fluke in cattle



31 March 2014 08:22:01|Animal Health,Cattle,News,Veterinary News

Wet winter may increase risk of liver fluke in cattle


Merial Animal Health is informing farmers of the increased risk of liver fluke infection when turning out their cattle this spring, following the mild and exceptionally wet winter. According to Lynda Maris, Brand Manager with Merial Animal Health.
“Making the most of grass is key to the profitability of most cattle farmers, so it is really important that cattle get the full benefit from grass and maximise their growth potential.”
“Liver fluke infection can affect growth rates and increase finishing times. The risk of infection following turn-out has been increased by the mild and very wet winter we have just experienced.”

“While most farmers are aware that fluke can affect cattle during the winter months, and focus on giving a housing dose, many are unaware of the increasing importance of controlling fluke infections during the spring and summer months and the benefits of giving a fluke treatment as part of their grazing treatment programmes.”
All stages of fluke development on pasture are affected by the climate, with mild and wet conditions favouring the parasite’s development.
As such, the conditions experienced in recent years have contributed to a significant increase in the risk, geographical spread and seasonality of fluke infection. For many farms, liver fluke is now a real threat to cattle at grass, and treatment 8 to 10 weeks after turn-out can be beneficial.
Fluke infection can cause damage to the liver such that the productivity of an animal suffers significantly. Research shows that even low levels of infection, while not producing any obvious clinical effects, can depress live weight gain by up to 1.2kg/week1.
Lynda points out: “Such a reduction in live weight gain increases the time to finishing and obviously every additional day that an animal is kept on farm costs the farmer money! In fact according to research by UK industry body EBLEX, liver fluke is currently estimated to be costing beef farmers approximately £87 per case. On this basis it is extremely cost effective to treat against the parasite.”
Giving a fluke treatment to grazing cattle post –turnout can help to break the life cycle of the parasite by minimising fluke egg output and thereby reducing the risk of infection later in the season.
Such a treatment will also remove fluke from the animal and improve live weight gain from the farmer’s cheapest source of feed - grass. Indeed grazing cattle treated for fluke and worms have been shown to give a 31% increase in weight gain over untreated cattle and an 8% increase over those that were treated only for roundworms.
As it typically takes 8-12 weeks from cattle becoming infected at pasture to the stage where fluke are in the liver as egg-laying adults , treatment should be given 8 to 10 weeks after turnout. Treatment at this time will kill adult fluke, reduce egg output and decrease pasture contamination. This timing also ties in with the planned worming treatment programme on many farms.

Download





0 Comment


Name

Please enter your name


Email

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

World News

India | 10 February 2016
Smallest Indian wheat crop in six years to spur imports

India may harvest its smallest wheat crop in six years after two successive years of below-average monsoon rainfall stresses crops, potentially opening its doors to more imports. Production is set ...


Ireland | 10 February 2016
Another volatile year ahead for farmers

Northern Ireland's agri-food sector was another volatile year ahead, Danske Bank has said. The institution held its annual Agri Economic Outlook Breakfast yesterday and heard about "multiple threat...


USA | 10 February 2016
California farmers reap record sales in record drought

A new state report shows California farmers reaping record sales despite the epic drought, thriving even as city-dwellers have been forced to conserve water, household wells have run dry and fish have...


Ireland | 10 February 2016
Dairy farmers: Don't use the milk price as an excuse to compromise on herd welfare

Spring calving season is now in full flight on the majority of dairy farms. In excess of one million calves will be born on Irish dairy farms between February and April. Great strides have been mad...


USA | 10 February 2016
Rise In cattle numbers driving down beef prices

Matt Stockton, an ag economist for UNL's West Central Research and Extension Center says the rising number of cattle is driving down price. "When prices are first recognized and start going up the ...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed

Farms and Land for sale


Holiday Rentals search



Top stories you may have missed
Username
Password