Addressing sustainable sheep farming: application of a targeted selective treatment approach for anthelmintic use on a commercial farm

Busin, V., Kenyon, F., Laing, N., Denwood, M.J., McBean, D., Sargison, N.D. and Ellis, K. (2013) Addressing sustainable sheep farming: application of a targeted selective treatment approach for anthelmintic use on a commercial farm. Small Ruminant Research, 110(2-3), pp. 100-103. (doi:10.1016/j.smallrumres.2012.11.013)

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Abstract

Sustainable control of nematode parasites in small ruminant production is a worldwide ambition. Development of anthelmintic resistance can severely impair small ruminant production. A practical approach to reduce selection pressure for anthelmintic resistance is to treat only a proportion of the flock (Targeted Selective Treatment), leaving a proportion of the nematode population untreated. The aim of this study was to compare the sustainability and efficacy of a performance-based marker, the Happy Factor™, a monitor of nutrient utilisation efficiency, with a routine whole flock anthelmintic treatment. In a commercial flock in the South West of Scotland, 183 Texel cross lambs were split into two matched but co-grazing groups: one group managed as routinely for the farm (RT group) and the other subjected to targeted selective treatment (TST group). All lambs from the RT group were drenched every 6 weeks during the grazing season, while anthelmintic administration in the TST group was restricted to animals that failed to reach pre-determined weight gain targets, based on an estimate of their efficiency of gross energy utilisation. Animal performance and parasitological data were recorded every two weeks. In the 20 week period of the study, anthelmintic treatments were reduced by approximately 50% in the TST group compared to a routine anthelmintic administration that would have been applied, whilst epg counts were always <500 throughout the study in both groups. Finally, there was no discernible difference in the mean bodyweight gain between the two groups.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Denwood, Dr Matthew and Busin, Valentina and Ellis, Dr Kathryn
Authors: Busin, V., Kenyon, F., Laing, N., Denwood, M.J., McBean, D., Sargison, N.D., and Ellis, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Small Ruminant Research
ISSN:0921-4488
Published Online:05 December 2012

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