Nematodirus risk increases as temperatures rise

4th May 2018

Sheep producers are being warned to be on their guard against nematodirus disease following the sudden spike in temperatures. 

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) nematodirus forecast map shows nearly the whole of the UK is now at moderate risk – which means eggs are within 10 days of hatching. 

Meanwhile, parts of the South, South West, north Wales and the Midlands are now at high risk from the disease.

To assess the challenge on their farms, farmers are being advised to use the SCOPS nematodirus forecast – a free and easy-to-use interactive map.

It is updated daily using data from 140 weather stations provided by the Met Office and DarkSky, and tracks changes in risk throughout the spring and early summer.

This map allows farmers and advisers to select their nearest or most representative weather station and then access advice on how to relate the predicted risk to a particular farm.

Treatment options and possible management actions are also provided, which sheep farmers should use in consultation with their vet or adviser to consider the local risk and when/if to treat lambs.

Carry out faecal egg counts (FECs)

Lesley Stubbings of SCOPS said: “The warm weather last week has also led to the other worm species ‘waking up’, with reports of relatively high counts in some lambs.”

She said this shows farmers should now start to do FECs.

Select the right product

Appropriate product choice will also be essential to protect young lambs, she added.

“While white wormers remain the product of choice to kill nematodirus worms, farmers may need to swap away from these drenches if other worm types need addressing on their farm.

“This is because resistance to white wormers is widespread in many species of worm other than nematodirus.”

Ms Stubbings advised farmers to speak to their vet or adviser for advice on product choices. “With such a challenging season to date, we are urging sheep farmers to check their nearest weather station on the website and assess the risk to their lambs.”

Once you’ve discussed your requirements with your vet, give us a call as many of our wormers are on offer until 31st May 2018.

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