A senior university lecturer has warned anthelmintic resistance “may be the single most important constraint to economically sustainable lamb production”.
A senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies has warned that the national problem of anthelmintic resistance “may be the single most important constraint to economically sustainable lamb production”.
“Most farms have developed resistance to anthelmintics,” said Neil Sargison. “We are seeing resistance to the white benzimidazoles, the yellow levamisoles, and the clear macrolytic lactones – to the ivermectins and also moxidectin. Seeing resistance to this is very serious and makes worm control a critical issue.
“If we don’t have effective anthelmintics we cannot control worms.”
Dr Sargison’s comments follow a recent resistance management workshop held in Perth, which was sponsored by Novartis Animal Health and looked at new strategies for sustainable worm control for sheep vets and farmers.
“It’s not too late to halt the development of anthelmintic resistance,” Novartis Animal Health’s veterinary advisor Simon Harris explains. “SCOPS [Sustainable Control of Parasites] has identified eight principles that, if put in place, can help ensure farmers can continue using anthelmintics effectively.”
Dr Sargison also advocates implementing the SCOPS principles, which include identifying your own resistance status, maintaining a population of susceptible “in refugia” worms, using quarantine treatments and using targeted selective treatments.
“Anthelmintics are not a magic bullet,” continues Dr Sargison. “They are a tool that should be used as part of an integrated control strategy.”