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Home Industry News Novartis urges lambing worm caution

Novartis urges lambing worm caution

29th February 2008

Animal health drug giant Novartis has urged farmers to ensure their ewes are adequately wormed before lambing.

Simon Harris, a farm animal vet with the organisation, made his comments to the Farmers Guardian, noting that ewes’ resistance levels are damaged before birth, allowing the worms to produce more eggs.

This allows the infection to spread to spring pastures and infect lambs, leading to ill thrift and scours, he continued.

However, Mr Harris warned: “Before worming you should consult your vet or adviser about worming plans, as it may be more suitable to delay worming until after lambing from the point of view of minimising anthelmintic resistance development.”

A recent survey of farmers conducted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that 65 per cent followed a forward plan when worming their ewes while 35 per cent took action in response to symptoms in their flocks.

However, the department’s Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep initiative has expressed concerns that the majority of farmers do not seek expert veterinary advice when worming, despite concerns over worm resistance to anthelmintics.

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