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What should I be dosing beef animals for now?

Orla Keane, Senior Researcher at Teagasc Grange, has some timely advice in relation to updating your herd health plan and parasite control on this week’s Beef Edge podcast.

It’s a good time of year when calving is over for a spring calving herd and before it starts on an autumn calving herd to review the herd health plan now and Orla highlights the importance of biosecurity and hygiene and outlines the process for disinfecting calving pens and slatted sheds at this time of year.

She explains that anthelmintic resistance refers to the ability of parasitic worms to survive a dose that should kill them. There are currently only 3 classes of anthelmintics licensed in Ireland for the control of gut worms in cattle. These classes are benzimidazole (commonly known as white wormer), levamisole (commonly known as yellow wormer) and macrocyclic lactones (commonly known as clear wormer).

Anthelmintics from different classes have different modes of action. However, within the same class all products share the same mode of action and therefore when resistance develops to one product within a class generally other products in the same class are affected.

Actions to take to slow the further development of anthelmintic resistance are:

  • Use grazing management to reduce exposure to worms
  • Use anthelmintics only when necessary
  • Use an appropriate product for the worms being targeted
  • Use the correct dose rates and proper dosing technique
  • Have a biosecurity protocol for bought-in stock

For animals at grass, one of the major health threats is internal parasites. At this time of year gut worms and lungworm are the major internal parasites of concern which

Orla discusses treatment strategies here

For more information read Parasite control in growing cattle at pasture 

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge