SCOPS offers advice when treating liver fluke

With liver fluke shaping up to be a significant challenge this winter, livestock farmers are being warned to be on their guard and monitor the situation carefully.

Farmers, SQPs, vets and advisors are also being urged to be careful with the very limited number of different flukicide products, as reports of resistance to triclabendazole continue to increase.

Speaking on behalf of SCOPS, Lesley Stubbings said: “Choice of treatment is extremely important, and SCOPS and COWS are committed to providing clear advice on the options available.

“As part of this commitment, we are aware there has been misunderstanding with respect to two veterinary medicines that are not currently authorised in the UK, but which have been imported from the Republic of Ireland under a Special Import Certificate from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, for use on some UK farms.”

Efficacy of flukicides available for use in sheep
Ms Stubbings added: “These veterinary medicines both contain the active substance rafoxanide, and it is apparent there is significant confusion around rafoxanide, especially with respect to using it as an alternative to closantel on farms where triclabendazole resistance is proven. SCOPS and COWS have therefore updated their respective websites to provide clear information to sheep and cattle farmers.”

The SCOPS-COWS statement on rafoxanide makes it clear that this is not a new flukicide or a different class to closantel and, moreover, there is evidence of cross-resistance between rafoxanide and closantel from both field and laboratory studies.

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