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Tasmania worms, flies and lice update - May 2019

Tasmania WormBoss Worm Control Programs

Tasmania WormBoss Drench Decision Guides





Perth: Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health (

Perth: Rain in the second week of May has helped graziers north of Campbell Town, with more forecast for later this week. Away from the irrigators Bothwell, the Derwent Valley and lower Midlands are struggling, while the East Coast is a rare class of desperate (as it frequently is). Most areas have had frosts, but soil temperatures are generally still good (above 10°C), so there is time for pasture growth if it rains.

The worm report is a bit like Darwin’s dry season weather: invariant. Crossbred (XB) ewes are fine, many grass dominant circles are now heavily contaminated, and Merino weaners on perennial pastures are getting wormy. So, go to the WormBoss site and review the triggers for the various classes.

Testing for Fluke: Feedback from one of our cattle abattoirs has put the fear of fluke into many producers. So, previous missives have talked about late autumn/early winter as a good time to drench for fluke. Should you? Find some evidence first!

  • History of fluke most years in sheep or cattle. This applies to the Central Plateau, irrigation areas around Bothwell and the Derwent Valley and the Longford-Cressy-Back Creek irrigation areas. There may be other spots as well.
  • Clinical evidence of fluke bolstered by a fluke test done after 1st April (unless the clinical evidence included a Post Mortem).
  • Feedback from an abattoir plus a fluke test done after April 1. The need for the test is that the abattoirs sometimes report liver damage due to fluke. This may be historic damage rather than active infection. It seems that fluke habitat in the flood-outs of the lower Esk and Macquarie Valleys has contracted due to few floods in the last 2 years.
  • Collateral evidence from hunters finding fluke in deer or wallaby. Back this up with a fluke test.

Remember that immature liver fluke inhabits snails that require specific marshy habitats. Not every mob will have been exposed, so start testing the mobs that graze the river and creek margins and any paddocks with permanent springs. 

Koala Stamps: Information from AWI’s Geoff Lindon shows Tasmania has a lower mulesing rate and a high rate of pain relief use. Pain relief should be a given, both for real animal welfare and animal welfare appearance. If you are not using pain relief, start doing so. More on cessation of mulesing next month.



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