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Sheep Capsules Finding Favour With Farmers

May 3, 2005

Sheep Capsules Finding Favour With Farmers

The benefits of sheep capsules as a management tool for production phase ewes is well-recognised by farmers.

Merial New Zealand Veterinary Technical Services Manager Justin Hurst says he's not surprised at the acceptance of capsule use by farmers because of the management and productivity benefits they help achieve.

However, he advises any parasite management needs to take into account whole farm conditions.

"It's all about best practice," says Hurst. "'To take in the productivity, management and financial factors of capsule treatment, farmers should consider three best practice action points."

Hurst says farmers need to treat based on realistic objectives and an objective review of their flock situation pre lambing, and combine that with a projected situation post lambing until weaning.

He says it's important to select the active ingredient based on whole farm management and resistance status.

And thirdly, Hurst encourages leaving some animals untreated.

"Creating a state of refugia on the farm is key to weakening the gene pool of any resistant worms present."

Hurst says these action points are necessarily broad, as there is no one recipe with parasite management and drench use, and systems need to be adapted for each farm and the management goals of that farm.

However, he says one of the main reasons capsules are attractive to farmers is they ensure the correct dose due to a precise delivery mechanism and without the tail off of injectable products.



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