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Anthelmintic resistance in Northern Ireland (II): Variations in nematode control practices between lowland and upland sheep flocks

McMahon, C., Barley, J.P., Edgar, H.W.J., Ellison, S.E., Hanna, R.E.B., Malone, F.E., Brennan, G.P., Fairweather, I.
Veterinary parasitology 2013 v.192 no.1-3 pp. 173-182
adults, avermectins, control methods, ewes, farms, flocks, highlands, lambing rate, lambs, lowlands, moxidectin, nematode control, pastures, questionnaires, stocking rate, surveys, Northern Ireland
A questionnaire to obtain information on nematode control practices and sheep management was sent to over 1000 farmers in Northern Ireland. Replies were received from 305 flock owners, and data from 252 of them were analysed. Farms were divided into lowland and upland areas. Sizes of pasture and stocking rates on lowland and upland farms were 59.5 hectares, 6.99 sheep/hectare and 62.9 hectares and 10.01 sheep/hectare, respectively. Mean drenching rates for lambs and adults were 2.33 and 2.44, respectively, in lowland flocks and 2.73 and 2.71, respectively, in upland flocks. Between 2008 and 2011, the most frequently identified compounds in use were benzimidazoles and moxidectin in lowland flocks, and benzimidazoles and avermectins in upland flocks. Over the same period the most frequently identified commercial formulations were Tramazole®, Panacur® and Allverm® (white drench), Levacide® (yellow drench), Oramec® (clear drench; avermectin), Cydectin® (clear drench; moxidectin) and Monepantel® (orange drench).Most respondents (56.35%) treated their lambs at weaning and the most common time to treat ewes was identified to be pre-mating (67.86% of respondents).The results of the questionnaire survey revealed that lowland annual drench frequency was 2.33 and 2.44 in lambs and ewes, respectively, although drench frequencies were higher in upland flocks: 2.73 and 2.71 for lambs and ewes, respectively.Annual drench rotation was practiced by 43.96% of flock owners, but whether this was true rotation or pseudo-rotation (i.e., substitution of one anthelmintic product by another product belonging to the same chemical group of anthelmintics) could not be explicitly determined.