Worm control strategies with reduced reliance on anthelmintics
Gastrointestinal nematode infections reduce lamb productivity through anorexia but also through diverting resources to repair damaged tissues. This penalty on growth performance is directly related to the level of larval challenge. Work done at Moredun Research Institute more than 30 years ago has shown that lambs gain progressively less with increasing larval challenge, and that regular drenching in the presence of high larval challenge only partly avoids these losses (Coop et al., 1982). These results are as valid now as they were back then, and highlight the importance of reducing pasture infectivity as a main aim to reduce (the consequences of) parasitism on sheep production. It should be noted that reduced performance and thus delayed finishing is only part of the costs of parasitism; additional costs arise from the purchase of anthelmintics and the often underestimated labour costs for drenching and removing faecal soiling prior to lambs going for slaughter.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
Teagasc National Sheep Conference: Sheep Technology Adoption Programme Approved (STAP), Killarney, Ireland