Managing parasites in the post capsule space

With MPI recently banning both the sales and use of Bionic Capsules and the ongoing investigation into the safety and efficacy of all anthelmintic capsules registered for sale in New Zealand, it is clear that parasite management needs to be managed differently and more proactively for many farmers.

Anthelmintic use is just one of the many management tools available to farmers and with increasing evidence of widespread drench resistance across New Zealand, their use needs to be carefully managed. Many farmers have relied on the long term protection that was proproted from capsule use. It made sense, animals could be treated and farmers didn’t have to worry about parasites for a longer period of time than regular oral drenching. This suits many farming operations, it is a logistical hassle, and for some an impossibility to muster in a flock just to drench them when they don’t need any other checks or treatments at the time. With failure of the capsules to perform as indicated and residual product found in meat after the withholding periods, some animals were not protected early enough and the slow release mechanisms have not performed. Sadly some farmers have been left, suddenly with product, perhaps purchased in bulk with the threat of ban of sale, with expensive capsules that they cannot administer. It is vital, as farmers, that we continue to manage parasite infestation to ensure animal welfare and production goals are met. Consumers demand for highest animal welfare, low chemical and intervention input meat is continuously increasing.

The team at WormFEC Gold understand the challenges farmers are facing and this year, in particular, has also seen very high FEC counts due to the damp but warm weather we have experienced across most of the country. Selecting animals with breeding for resistance is a vital management tool which is seen as the most sustainable management method. Stocking rates, body condition score, dry matter available to animals and refugia are all important factors as well, however farmers breeding with rams chosen from members of WormFEC Gold are adding long term genetics to their maternal flock which will better enable them to face the future parasite challenges. As with all genetics it takes time to make genetic gain so if you have not spoken to a breeder about your future goals, it is a great time to have a chat to a WormFEC Gold member and check out the great work being done by

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