Oz Programme to Assist with Parasite Control

AUSTRALIA - The Department of Agriculture and Food is undertaking a project to look at how to assist beef cattle producers improve parasite control.
calendar icon 20 February 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Department veterinary officer Jenny Cotter said there had been increasing reports of drench resistance in cattle around the world, particularly in Europe and New Zealand, which could potentially lead to parasite control problems.

“To date in Australia, there have only been a small number of reports of drench resistance in the Eastern States, but no investigations in WA.

“However, it is timely to update our knowledge of farmer practices and parasite distribution to ensure there are no issues in the future.

“This project is designed to gather information on how beef farmers are currently managing parasites, and information on whether drench resistance is a problem.

“The aim is to sample over 7000 cattle in both the immature age (less than 15 months) and mature age ( older than 15 months) groups across the agricultural region. “

Ms Cotter said the first stage of the project would be a producer questionnaire aimed to collect information about how farmers currently controlled parasites.

“Farmers will be contacted between February and May 2009, and asked to participate in the questionnaire,” she said.

“All information gathered will remain confidential and it will be looked at as group information and analysed for trends or patterns in farmer management methods.”

Ms Cotter said the second stage of the project would be testing beef cattle for drench resistance, which would be carried out on farms over two summers.

“To carry out the resistance tests we will be looking for young weaned stock that has not yet received any drench where the farmers intend to turn off over late summer. “Farmers who participated in the questionnaire will be contacted to participate in this stage of the project.

“The third stage of the project involves the collection of dung samples at saleyards and abattoirs to provide information on any changes to the distribution of parasites that may have occurred over the past 20 years.

“Dung collections have begun and will continue over the coming seasons.”

Funding for the project, which will run for two years, has been co-provided by the department, the Cattle Industry Compensation Fund and Meat and Livestock Australia.

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