The NADIS Parasite Forecast for January shows a risk of very high levels of liver fluke disease across Scotland, Wales and western England and significant risk across most of the rest of the UK.
The National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) Parasite Forecast for January shows a risk of very high levels of liver fluke disease across Scotland, Wales and western England and significant risk across most of the rest of the UK.
Although figures are not available to produce a Northern Ireland forecast, climate data also suggest a very high risk there.
With this in mind, Merial Animal Health’s veterinary adviser Fiona MacGillivray said it is more important than ever that farmers are vigilant and consider fluke treatment as part of their farm health plans.
At this time she suggests that grazing cattle considered at risk and not treated should be dosed with a flukicide (such as closantel, clorsulon or nitroxynil) to try and remove fluke in the liver that may be affecting production.
“Consult your vet for advice on which treatment to use if cattle have been grazing high risk pastures,” she said.
However, she warned against using triclabendazole-based flukicide treatments in cattle unless acute disease is suspected. This way it may be possible to reduce and delay the development of resistance of this “vitally important drug”.
Unfortunately, weather conditions experienced in 2012 mean that further problems can be expected during 2013.
Mrs MacGillivray added: “The high fluke risk last year will mean pasture contamination with fluke cysts and an increased risk of disease problems in spring and summer. A fluke treatment at grass this year is therefore likely to be even more imperative to both reduce further pasture contamination and also to minimise the impact of fluke disease.”
- For the full, independently written NADIS Parasite Forecasts sponsored by Merial Animal Health, visit www.nadis.org.uk.