Guidance updated on controlling worms on farms

The guidance will help farms looking to reduce their dependence on wormers
The guidance will help farms looking to reduce their dependence on wormers

The UK's three levy boards have updated their guidance for sheep farmers on controlling worms more effectively in the future.

The sheep industry has become more reliant on pastures grazed only by sheep, and as a result, the dependence on wormers has increased.

Worm control is vital on any sheep farm, and heavy worm burdens can dramatically decrease lamb growth rates and the profitability of sheep systems.

But for worm control to be effective long term it is important to preserve the efficacy of anthelmintics that are used by minimising resistance.

In response to this, the three UK red meat levy boards will soon launch an update of the booklet ‘Worm Control in Sheep’.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the AHDB have joined forces with Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) to update it.

Claire Jones, who works at Dolgellau Veterinary Practice in north Wales, is part of the Welsh government's herd health project Stoc+.

She said the new guidance will be a useful tool for farming businesses looking to reduce the dependence on wormers.

“Anthelmintic resistance on farm, and the need to protect our existing classes of drenches is something that should be at the forefront of farmers minds when it comes to product selection and devising a drenching strategy for their farm.

"The use of regular Faecal Egg Counts (FEC) and monitoring growth and performance should be part of all farm health plans going forward," she said.

“The information provided in Worm Control in Sheep will be a useful tool for farms, as well as setting out principles for best practice and the responsible control of worms.”

To launch the booklet, HCC is hosting a webinar on 26 April at 7:30pm.

Farmers interested in joining can register on the levy board's website.