The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) and Control of Cattle Parasites Sustainably (COWS) groups are urging sheep and cattle farmers to not be complacent about liver fluke this autumn. The groups advise that is It would be wrong for producers to assume the dry summer has killed all the liver fluke parasite and the mud snails that are part of its complex life cycle.
Sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings, speaking on behalf of SCOPs says: “This summer has been the hottest and driest on record in many parts of the UK. This means that, overall, the burden of liver fluke on pasture will be much lower than last season – but it is dangerous to assume this applies to all farms or even in all areas on a farm.
Experts from SCOPS and COWS say, in a dry year, it is even more important that each farm does its own liver fluke risk assessment and carries out monitoring and testing to avoid getting caught out. There will be huge variation between regions and farms. Tools available include specific blood tests, copro (dung) antigen tests and faecal egg detection tests.
Read more on these tools here