Parasite forecasting service helps farmers keep on top of worm risk

Zoetis has launched the 2019 Parasite Watch, which offers an online forecasting service featuring real-time information on the worm, fluke and fly risk across the UK.

Using data from faecal egg count tests from 24 farms nationwide alongside 10 years of validated weather data, Parasite Watch gives an indication of the risk of high egg counts by showing the potential for larval development on pasture.

The farms involved in the scheme have faecal samples taken every two weeks to detect major stomach worms and Nematodirus. Fluke is tested regularly during risk periods using copro-antigen testing. Flies are also monitored using fly traps.

It is the fourth consecutive year Zoetis is running the scheme. More farms are involved this year increasing from 18 to 24. Additionally, treatment and management data for the farms will also be available allowing better decision making.

Dr Dave Armstrong, national veterinary manager at Zoetis, said using a free scheme like Parasite Watch to keep abreast with parasite risks in the local area as well as conducting regular faecal egg counts (FEC) can help save farmers money.

He said: “With the annual cost of stomach worms to the British sheep industry estimated to be about £84 million, sheep farmers need to be looking at ways to reduce losses on farm due to worms, and in a responsible way. Monitoring services like Parasite Watch can alert you to risks in your area. It may prompt you to conduct a faecal egg count test to see whether there are any worm issues before symptoms appear.”

SQPs can access the latest Parasite Watch updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and can click HERE, to help monitor and manage worms effectively.

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