Livestock parasites

Parasites are a major cause of disease and production loss in livestock, frequently causing significant economic loss and impacting on animal welfare. In addition to the impact on animal health and production, control measures are costly and often time-consuming. A major concern is the development of resistance by worms, lice and blowflies to many of the chemicals used to control them. 

Planned preventative programs are necessary to minimise the risks of parasitic disease outbreaks and sub-clinical (invisible) losses of animal production, and to ensure the most efficient use of control chemicals.  Integrated parasite management programs aim to provide optimal parasite control for the minimal use of chemicals by integrating pre-emptive treatments, parasite monitoring schedules and non-chemical strategies such as nutrition, genetics and pasture management. 

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia provides recommendations for the most effective approaches to the control of the major parasites of livestock

Articles

  • 28 November 2016

    Body lice (Bovicola ovis) infestation can occur on fleece-shedding and haired sheep, causing irritation and rubbing. Some exotic diseases also cause skin irritation to sheep. Before treati

  • 12 December 2016

    Barber's pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is a potentially harmful roundworm parasite of sheep which can cause a disease called haemonchosis.

  • 12 December 2016

    Gastro-intestinal worm infections in sheep are a major cause of lost productivity to the Western Australian (WA) sheep industry and control has become more complex due to widespread drench resistan

  • 3 January 2017

    In 2004, the Australian wool industry agreed to phase out the practice of mulesing.

  • 12 December 2016

    Sheep farmers can save money and time eradicating new lice infestations by taking simple biosecurity measures that become part of normal management programs.

  • 12 December 2016

    The impact of parasites on sheep can range from being virtually undetectable, through to obvious clinical signs or even death.

  • 18 December 2015

    The stickfast flea first recorded in Western Australia at Geraldton in 1913, is now a common disease in backyard flock, especially during summer.

  • 8 August 2016

    The sheep industry relies heavily on drench chemicals to control sheep worms but in Western Australia (WA) worms have become increasingly resistant to drenches.

  • 13 July 2016

    Treatment of ewes and lambs is more complex than treatment of a mob of single animals because they exist as a unit of two or three animals in close contact rather than individuals within in a mob.

  • 9 September 2015

    The liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, is a serious parasite of ruminants, which can cause severe damage to the liver and consequently disease, production loss and even death.