Aim: To investigate the use of targeted, selective treatment for parasites in ruminant livestock

The overuse of anthelmintic products has led to an increasing development of anthelmintic-resistant strains of helminths in ruminant livestock production. This presents as a major risk to the efficiency and profitability of grass-based production systems. As a result, there is a requirement to change existing protocols on farm to improve the sustainability of effective worm control in cattle and sheep.

Targeted Selective Treatments (TST) offer the potential to reduce the overall use of anthelmintics, and in turn the instance of anthelmintic resistance. While studies have exhibited the suitability for use in commercial farms, there is little evidence to support the practical and economic benefits of TST application, with the uptake in Northern Ireland to date being relatively low.

 

 

Using a group of participating farmers and knowledge from academia, this project aims to determine suitable TST approaches to be implemented on participating farms, using faecal egg counts and liveweight gain information. These approaches will be assessed and the results disseminated across the wider sector with the aim of promoting responsible and sustainable use of anthelmintics to reduce the risk of anthelmintic resistance development. Additionally, this project will encourage farmers to monitor livestock health and performance, as well as contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a direct result of improved production efficiency.

Project objectives:

  • Determine suitable TST approaches for participating beef, sheep and dairy farms
  • Implement TST on each farm utilising FEC analysis and liveweight gain information
  • Assess impact of incorporating TST on-farm
  • Assess feasibility and practicality of wider implementation of TST on farms in NI
  • Disseminate project activity and results

Project outcomes:

  • Promotion of responsible and sustainable use of anthelmintics
  • Avoid the development of resistant strains of parasites
  • Encourage monitoring of livestock health and performance
  • Reduce GHG emissions by improving production efficiency.

 

This project, as part of the European Innovation Partnership is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). 

Read the project's press release here: NEW EIP PROJECT WILL UTILISE A RANGE OF TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPLEMENT TARGETED SELECTIVE TREATMENT OF ANTHELMINTICS ON FARM - Agrisearch

See here for information on the EAFRD.