< Back to Newsletters

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

Fast Fact

You never know when something unexpected will turn up!

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

Leishmaniasis is a devastating disease of global significance. It is caused by the protozoal parasite Leishmania spp. The parasite lives in many animals (where it may or may not cause disease) and is spread to humans by biting sandflies. In humans, Leishmania may be systemic (with mortalities) or cutaneous (causing disfiguring skin ulcerations).

So, here are two fast facts about Leishmania: Firstly, Australia was believed to be Leishmania free until a new species was found in kangaroos in the Northern Territory in 2003. Not only was a new parasite found, but also a new vector (biting midge) that was transmitting the parasite. You can read about it here. Secondly, it's surprising how the incidence of a disease can change with environmental changes. A new dam built in Tunisia in the early 1980s was a trigger for a Leishmania epidemic. How come? The population of the reservoir rodent called the fat sand rat (Psammomys spp) that grazed exclusively on the cultivated plant (Chenopodium spp) exploded after the dam’s construction. The dam changed environmental conditions and provided ideal growing conditions for the chenopodium or goosefoots plants allowing the rat population to increase.

The moral: just because you are paranoid does not mean that the parasites are not out to get you!

Feature articles

Bayer’s product, Viper® is a next-generation sheep lousicide

by Dr Claire Hunt, Bayer Australia

Lice management programs are primarily designed around integrating good biosecurity with the judicious use of effective chemical lousicides. Having access to highly efficacious lousicide products is important in controlling sheep body lice. Bayer’s product, Viper® is a next-generation sheep lousicide containing thiacloprid, an active not found in any other lousicide product on the market. >> Read more.

Lose the wrinkles; don’t tell me it can’t be done

by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

A Tasmanian flock has gone from wrinkled to plain in 10 years and are now trialling long tails for market advantage.This may not work on your farm, but it is food for thought. >> Read more.

WormBoss: the theory is fine, but is it practical? 

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

The theories expounded by WormBoss and consultants (including your correspondent) have their own pub test to pass, to wit, can the theory be integrated into real production situations or is it a nice piece of research that will sit on the shelf? The only way to find out is to test it in real situations. Warrane manager, Andrew Fittler is one such person who has put it to the test. >> Read more.

Hairy sheep and lice treatments: do you need to bother? 

Introduction by Paul NIlon, Nilon Farm Health

There is a belief that hair sheep (Awassi and others) and shedding sheep (Dorpers and others) are highly resistant to lice. This belief is only partly true: they seem not to carry the numbers of lice of conventional sheep and may be more resistant to their effects (particularly if they shed). However, there is a whole bagful of reasons to take lice in these sheep seriously. >> Read more.

Your last chance in 2019 - WEC QA

The Worm Egg Counting Quality Assurance Program is taking registrations and payment NOW and will close 20th September.
If you offer WEC services, paid, or even complimentary, to customers or clients you should take part. After this 2019 round only program participants will have WEC listings on the WormBoss Service Providers pages. >> Read more.


Paid advertisement
This sandfly transmits Leishmania disease (from Wikipedia)
A case study: WormBoss in action in the New England.
Dare to think differently
Are lice a problem for these sheep?