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Queensland worm update - May 2013

Arthur Le Feuvre, Warwick (arthur@vetspets.com.au)

Sheep worm activity is now a bit of an unknown quantity due to the closure of the WormBuster laboratory.

Producers wishing to have Worm Egg Counts done should contact providers listed on the WormBoss website (http://www.wormboss.com.au/tests-tools/professional-service-providers.php ).

As far as I am aware there are no providers who have the expertise to do NATA accredited larval differentials and drench resistance tests.

I am working with an interstate laboratory to determine if samples posted from various sites in Queensland reach the laboratory in a viable state (ie in about 3 days) that will enable credible results to be produced.

If you are a user of sheep drenches in Queensland (sheep/goat/alpaca producer) you should be very careful of how you use such products as Monepantel (Zolvix), Moxidectin (Cydectin) and Abamectin (eg Virbamec/Paramectin etc).

It took sheep/goat/alpaca producers only a short time to breed worms resistant to such things as Closantel (Seponver etc) and Invermectin (Ivomec etc). 

Resistance to Abamectin and Moxidectin already exists on some properties and is expanding.  There are whispers of Monepantel resistance in goats in NZ.

In Queensland, the climate is in favour of controlling worms if (and only if) producers get smarter in developing drench control programs.  Most producers are reluctant to pay for resistance tests and for expert advice from consultants.  The result is that 9 out of 10 producers have no real idea if the drenches they are using are fully effective.

Drench resistance has been identified wherever sheep are run in Queensland – and that includes western pastoral zones where (according to locals) the sheep do not get worms.

Effective worm management programs will return much more than they cost.  All that needs to change is your mind!