Wrong products being used to combat liver fluke

Animal Health

Every farmer knows what liver fluke is. The market has been full for years with different products to control it. Most farmers treat their stock over the winter to combat it.

And yet, every year, we hear of livers being condemned in factories due to severe fluke infestation, even on farms where a ‘control’ programme was in place.

The answer in most cases is simple. On many farms the wrong products are being used at the wrong time to treat cattle. All too often, a fluke product is being given too early after cattle are housed, and only a percentage of the fluke are being killed, and the necessary follow-up treatment a number of weeks later is not being given.

When choosing a liver fluke control product ask:

What age fluke will this kill?

Based on the answer to this, how many weeks after I house my stock should I use this product? With some fluke products, you need to wait almost three months after housing, if you want to get away with just one treatment (because they only kill adult fluke). With others, you need to wait at least six weeks. The alternative is to treat 10 days after housing, and follow it up (if necessary) with a second treatment the required number of weeks later.

Combination worm and fluke treatment products are popular now on many farms. Speak to your vet before using one of these, or any fluke product, to work out the correct strategy for using them.

Otherwise you may be only half-doing the job.


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