Livestock News

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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Second wormer resistance survey hopes to show progress

Sheep farmers are being invited to take part in the on-line 2015 FarmingAgainst Wormer Resistance (FAWR) survey, two years after the initial survey, tohelp reveal changes in the extent of, and attitudes to, wormer resistance.

The original survey in 2013 the first of its kind in the UK wascarried out at the start of the FAWR campaign which, initiated by NovartisAnimal Health (now Elanco Animal Health) in conjunction with SCOPS and NSA, aimed to discover the reality of how farmers,alongside vets and SQPs, deal with this growing problem on their farms.

Completed by almost 400 farmers across all regions and age ranges the2013 survey revealed growing concern about wormer resistance but confusionabout the best course of action and the need to test for anthelminticresistance (AR) status. It also highlighted a lack of awareness of properpractice when quarantining incoming stock, with 32% not drenching and thereforeincreasing the spread of resistance. 

By comparing this second survey to the first, Elanco Animal Health, the FAWRorganisers, hope to be able to gauge the spread of wormer resistance, anddiscover if attitudes and worming practices have changed significantly.

This will help us to see more clearly both the progress already madeand where future efforts at improving knowledge and awareness should beconcentrated, said Matt Colston, Farm Animal Technical Consultant Veterinarianfor Elanco Animal Health,

The purpose of the FAWR campaign is to encourage farmers to take actionnow against resistance, before wormer groups fail, to maintain wormer optionsand ensure productivity into the future, said Lesley Stubbings (SCOPSrepresentative and Independent Sheep Consultant), a member of the 2013 panel ofkey sector experts responsible for driving the FAWR campaign forwards.

Many farmers still feel that worm resistance is someoneelses problem, believing that their wormers are working well.  In reality, many animals are getting lessthan fully effective treatment because resistance is building to one or more ofthe older wormer groups. Worm kill is subsequently falling, affecting lambgrowth and significantly reducing incomes, she continued.

Benzimidazole1-BZ (white) drench resistance is already common. In a study in England, 100%of sheep farms involved had resistance confirmed1. Resistance to thelevamisole 2-LV (yellow) group is present in the UK2 and resistanceto the 3-ML (clear) group2 has also been confirmed in a number ofstudies.

We are hoping to hear from aneven bigger group of farmers, both new and returning respondents, saysKatherine Openshaw, Ruminant Marketing Manager atElanco Animal Health.  Knowingfarmers attitudes to resistance, and the strategiesand techniques they adopt to tackle the problem, will enable Elanco to workalongside industry partners to meet their needs more accurately, and providethem with the most suitable advice to make the best choices now and in thefuture.

The first 50 farmers who complete the survey will win an Optilinedrencher, say organisers. The 2015 FAWR Survey is being conducted on-line and can be completedby visiting


  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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