2017-07-05  facebooktwitterrss

New Wormer Available to Sheep Farmers

A new wormer monepantel, marketed under the brand name Zolvix, became available on 1st July 2017 in the UK, for use by farmers via SQPs, pharmacists and vets.

Independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings welcomes the product’s launch but wants to make sure farmers strike the right balance when using it.

Lesley Stubbings

Lesley Stubbings

Lesley says:
“On the one hand we need to harness the potential of Zolvix to improve lamb performance and slow anthelmintic resistance (AR) to other groups, but we must not fall into the trap of over-use, which brings with it a much increased risk of developing resistance to monepantel itself.”

Ms Stubbings believes this is going to be a challenge and farmers will have to think even harder about what worming products to use and when.

She continues:
“The days when you could simply rotate product groups annually are long gone. In reality, most flocks will need to use three or more groups in a single season. For example 1-BZ for nematodirus, a 2-LV or 3-ML and then a 4-AD or 5-SI in the late season and for quarantine.

“This is quite daunting. It requires much more forward planning and monitoring, using Faecal Egg Counts (FECs) and probably additional cost.”

Andrew Pattison, SQP with RM Jones Farm Centres agrees. He says:
“I would encourage my sheep farmer customers to take the time to talk to their SQP when they go in to buy wormers. Additional SQP training is underway so they can advise on product choices and suggest ways to monitor lamb performance and worm challenges”.

Malcolm Sanderson farms in Lancashire and admits he was sceptical about the benefits of using a new wormer group initially. But with AR confirmed on his farm to two groups, white and yellow, he decided to take the plunge in September 2015 with his remaining lambs.

Mr Sanderson explains:
“They had not done very well since weaning despite being on good grazing. I was amazed at the difference. Within days we were recording growth rates of more than 300g/day in six-month-old lambs and they looked so much healthier. I have no problem justifying the cost of this once-a-year investment, particularly as I know I am also slowing resistance, which is so important longer term.”

Charles Sercombe, NFU Livestock Board Chairman and member of the Sustainable Control of Parasites (SCOPS) organisation, as well as being a sheep farmer agrees, but adds a note of caution.

He says:
“We must ensure that everyone heeds the advice and avoids looking for quick fixes. I fully support the need to get these drenches used as part of the fight to slow down AR on our farms, but with that comes a huge responsibility. As sheep farmers we have to resist any temptation to use them outside the recommended times, unless advised by a vet.”


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