Free liver-fluke testing on 1,000 farms

Teagasc has offered free liver-fluke testing to 1,000 beef, sheep and dairy farmers, as part of a research project.
Free liver-fluke testing on 1,000 farms

The Agriculture and Food Development Authority is undertaking the project to establish levels of liver fluke on Irish farms. For beef suckler farms, seven cows will be blood-sampled during a farm visit, between October, 2014 and January, 2015.

If you have fewer cows, they will all be tested. For sheep farmers, sampling kits for 20 ewes (or less if the flock is smaller) will be posted to you. Collect dung from 20 different ewes and post the sample to the lab for testing, using a pre-paid box, which will be supplied.

Testing will proceed between October and December, 2014. Teagasc is also hoping to supply sheep farmers with rumen fluke data, if resources allow. Results will be returned via your Teagasc advisor. This project, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, aims to provide a blueprint for on-farm control of liver fluke by developing new control tools (on-farm testing, vaccines, and fluke prediction tools) for use by multiple users, including farmers and veterinarians.

This will contribute to the sustainable use of existing parasitic treatments (anthelmintics) and help with reducing resistance to anthlmintics in Ireland. Beef farmers will also have the opportunity to volunteer for an Animal Health Ireland BVD surveillance pilot scheme, which will involve testing of five BVD, unvaccinated, home-bred (if available), 9-18-month-old animals from each distinct management group on the farm (other age groups may be sampled for smaller herds, if 9-18-month-olds are not available).

Farmers are invited to to be considered for inclusion in the project, by applying now for the free liver-fluke testing, using the form, which is in the publications section of the www.teagasc.ie website.

The application should be sent to Riona Sayers, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork.

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