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Familiarity with and uptake of alternative methods to control sheep gastro-intestinal parasites on farms in England

Lookup NU author(s): Fanny Pandolfi, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


A questionnaire was distributed electronically amongst sheep farmers in England; it aimed to provide a quantification of current anthelmintic practices, farmer awareness of the issue of anthelmintic resistance (AR) and the uptake, awareness and opinions surrounding conventional and alternative methods of nematode control. The majority of farmers relied on several anthelmintics and used faecal egg counts to identify worm problems. Although farmers were aware of the issue of AR amongst helminth parasites in the UK, there was a disconnection between such awareness and on farm problems and practice of nematode control. Grazing management was used by 52% of responders, while breeding for resistance and bioactive forages by 22 and 18% respectively. Farms with more than 500 ewes, and farmers who felt nematodes were a problem, had a higher probability of using selective breeding. Farmers who considered their wormer effective, had a qualification in agriculture and whose staff did not include any family members, were more likely to use bioactive forages; the opposite was the case if farmers dosed their lambs frequently. Amongst the alternatives, highest preference was for selective breeding and vaccination, if the latter was to become commercially available, with more respondents having a preference for breeding than actually using it. Several barriers to the uptake of an alternative were identified, the most influential factor being the cost to set it up and the length of time for which it would remain effective. The disconnection between awareness of AR and practice of nematode control on farm reinforces the need for emphasising the links between the causes of AR and the consequences of strategies to address its challenge.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moore H, Pandolfi F, Kyriazakis I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Veterinary Parasitology

Year: 2016

Volume: 221

Pages: 1-8

Print publication date: 15/05/2016

Online publication date: 04/03/2016

Acceptance date: 01/03/2016

Date deposited: 31/10/2016

ISSN (print): 0304-4017

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2550

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.03.002


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