Worm resistance study

Countryman
WA's Merino breeders are enjoying larger numbers of multiple births but will need to contend against unfavorable seasonal conditions while they plan best managment practises.
Camera IconWA's Merino breeders are enjoying larger numbers of multiple births but will need to contend against unfavorable seasonal conditions while they plan best managment practises. Credit: Bob Garnant

Graziers are being urged to collect dung samples from worm-affected sheep to contribute to a nationwide study about drenching.

The free trial aims to compare four drench resistance methods using traditional and Mini-FLOTAC worm egg count devices.

Farmers have been asked to collect dung samples from a mob of wormy sheep on the day of the drenching and 14 days post-drench. Samples will be sent to a lab and analysed for worm egg count in four ways before farmers receive their results.

Dawbuts veterinary parasitologist Janina McKay-Demeler, of Camden in New South Wales, said the trial could lead to a simple, cheap and reliable drench resistance test.

She said European drench testing trials of new technology Mini-FLOTAC were impressive. “It is a different story in Australia with big mob sizes, high levels of some worms such as barber’s pole worm and more advanced drench resistance,” Dr McKay-Demeler said.

“By this time next year, we will be able to analyse how each of the methods performs under real-world conditions. The next objective is better worm control for Australian sheep producers.”

NSW fine wool producer Nancy Spoljaric said knowing the resistance status of worms in her sheep provided “peace of mind”.

“Knowing the efficacy of the combination drenches means we can select and use drenches with increased confidence they will do the job,” she said.

For information, contact Dawbuts on admin@dawbut.com.

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