2013-10-11   facebooktwitterrss
Fluke Alert on Irish Farms - Massive Liver Rejections at Meat Plants

The effect of fluke may not be noticed by many farmers because it is often a sub-clinical disease. However, the symptoms can include a depressed appetite, poor feed conversion efficiency and a reduction in liveweight gain of up to 1.2kg per week.

This obviously makes for longer finishing times and greatly reduced profitability so liver fluke disease can become a very expensive problem for livestock producers who are already operating on low margins.

Pictured on the Osmonds stand at the Irish Ploughing championship were the Hayes brothers L2R Michael Hayes (Osmonds), Tom Hayes (Minister for State at the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) &   Pat Hayes, Teagasc.

Pictured on the Osmonds stand at the Irish Ploughing championship were the Hayes brothers L2R Michael Hayes (Osmonds), Tom Hayes (Minister for State at the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine) & Pat Hayes, Teagasc.

According to the latest edition of Veterinary Ireland Journal* “preliminary figures from the meat factories (eg Kildare Chilling) indicate that the incidence of fluke this year is as high if not higher than previous years. The point is made that over the last two years some areas of farmland were not accessible because of the wet summers and therefore not grazed.

However this summer because of the improved weather and later growing season these traditionally wet areas became available for grazing. “As a consequence we are seeing massive liver rejections at both sheep and cattle slaughtering plants.”

According to recent research about 97% of fluke in cattle at housing are late, immature or mature, so delaying treatment makes no financial sense. According to Michael O’Grady, Operations and Marketing Manager at Osmonds a good way to monitor health and performance is to weigh cattle at housing and on a regular basis thereafter.

It is important to weigh animals so as to ensure the correct volume of dose is being administered, which also helps reduce the possibilities of resistance developing.

Accurate Weights are Essential

Michael says that “as you can see on YouTube (http://goo.gl/MUkuN3 ) our mobile aluminium weighing scales is light weight, and fits all crush shapes and sizes. The large digital indicator (battery or electrically powered) makes it easy to read the weights from a distance. This scales is also designed to be durable and have a long working life.


To improve parasite control it is important to use anthelmintic doses, pour-ons and injectables at the recommended weight of the animal and to avoid a risk factor in the development of resistance. This is best achieved by weighing stock on a regular basis.

One happy customer is Jimmy O’ Halloran a beef finisher who farms near, Six Mile Bridge, Co Clare. After looking at 6 other scales at the National Ploughing Championships in 2012 he decided that the Osmonds Cattle Scales was most suited to his requirements.

Jimmy invested in the scales for three reasons –Firstly to weigh animals when they arrive on farm. He then weighs cattle every couple of weeks to monitor feed efficiency and performance. Finally he weighs them before they go to the factory so as to be able to measure their Kill out %. According to Jimmy “This helps me to pick the best bulls to buy and to see how well the diet worked”.

The weighing system has now been further enhanced with Osmonds Animal Weight Management System that is accessible on a Smartphone and IT system for recording livestock weights. The inventor is David Mullarkey from Bonniconlon in Co. Mayo. His parents are sheep farmers and David studied Mechanical Enginering at Sligo Institute of Technology. The advanced system not only records weights but also predicts performance so livestock farmers can have accurate timely information.


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