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Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep,
and worms in goats

From the Editor

Summer is certainly on the way. Temperatures are up and in many regions across the country rainfall is down.

As users of this site, we all acknowledge that parasites and research into their control is of paramount importance. It was therefore pleasing to see the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine awarded for the development avermectin (the parent of ivermectin) and artemisinin, drugs that are now instrumental in the control of roundworm diseases and malarial blood parasites of humans.

The precursors of these drugs were sourced from the natural environment: Avermectin from fungi in soil samples and Artemisinin from the wormwood bush, Artemisia annua not A. absinthium typically grown in Australia. The impetus to develop these drugs was to better control resistant parasites and to delay further drug failure (see page 6). And these drugs are best used in combination with other drugs and non-drug strategies. Now that sounds like a WormBoss message! 

Maxine Murphy

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Feature articles

Liver fluke on the NSW Central Tablelands

by Bruce Watt, Regional Veterinarian, Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Bathurst NSW

Liver fluke infestation is a widespread problem for sheep, cattle and goat producers in the NSW Central Tablelands. We know from on-farm surveys and from abattoir surveillance that at least 80% of Central Tablelands properties have fluke. >> Read more.

Breech strike practice change

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Operations Manager

The marketability of Australian wool will be dependent on progress made toward a breech strike resistant national flock. >> Read more.

Keep your flock lice-free

by Deb Maxwell, ParaBoss Operations Manager

Whether you’ve long had a lice-free flock and haven’t treated for many years or you’ve recently treated your sheep, hoping to eradicate lice, the threat of lice is ever present. >> Read more.


by Maxine Murphy, ParaBoss News Editor

Eperythrozoonosis (ep-pur-rith-ro-zo-on-nosis) is the disease produced by the bacterium Mycoplasma ovis. M. ovis inhabits red blood cells of sheep and causes their destruction leading to anaemia, jaundice, and in heavy infections, deaths of susceptible sheep. >> Read more.

The quick quiz

This 3-question quick quiz tests your knowledge of sheep parasites and their control. 
>> Take the quiz.

State Outlooks for October 2015

New South Wales
>> full report

Results of worm egg counts are still highly variable but deaths of lambs from roundworms have occurred, liver fluke is present in the higher rainfall regions and fly strike prevention is well underway. Worm testing is advised. There is also concern about lice infestations.

>> full report

Conditions are dry in the Hamilton district. If egg counts are high in November then drench, otherwise retest in December.

>> full report

Most of Queensland is still drought-declared. Feed levels in many areas are at critically low levels. Even a low worm burden in nutritionally stressed sheep could be damaging.

Western Australia
>> full report

Early dry conditions are affecting much of the state, but some sheep raising areas are experiencing a good season. Worm testing should be underway in preparation for decisions about the need for a weaning drench.

>> full report

Lamb marking is in full swing. Monitor sheep for worm burdens and body condition. Pay attention to tail length while marking lambs and use pain relief if mulesing.

South Australia
>> full report

Worm egg counts in spring are largely a result of worm control (or lack thereof) practices over winter. Spring shearing should reduce the incidence of fly strike.