Hybu Cig Cymru campaign steps up worm resistance battle

A HYBU Cig Cymru campaign to widen awareness among Welsh farmers of resistance to worm drenches is to be “strongly stepped up” by forging links with other key industry organisations. The move follows early campaign successes in attracting farmers to listen to the critical message on parasitic diseases at HCC- supported meetings across Wales in the autumn. “The unavoidable truth is that the industry has got to get the crucial message across that Welsh farmers need to take immediate measures to rectify existing practices or the industry faces serious consequences in the future,” said HCC corporate strategy and policy manager Julie Finch. Anthelmintic resistance means that a wormer loses effectiveness because a proportion of the worms survive treatment. If farmers use ineffective treatments, the overall health status of their flock will deteriorate and a huge amount of time, effort and money will be wasted. “We’ve been on the road in recent weeks to spread the word and to date we’re really pleased with supportive farmer turnouts at key partner meetings that have taken place in different parts of Wales – but there is a lot more that needs to be done,” said Dr Finch. She cited headline events that included the HCC-backed Moredun Animal Health roadshows at Royal Oak Hotel, Betws y Coed, and Bishops Meadow restaurant, Brecon, last November. “We had more than 100 farmers at the north Wales event and 75 at the south Wales session and the success of these two events, in particular, has led us to seek further partner events and locations that could be just as effective,” said Dr Finch. “We’re seeking compatible partner hosts, such as farming union meetings, academic meetings, market day events, NSA events and other opportunities – wherever the organised industry gathers. “We simply have to bang the drum loudly after a HCC research project looking into resistance to wormers showed that changes have to be made if flock health is not to seriously suffer in the not-too-distant future. “The research results show a significant rise in resistance levels compared to the previous study undertaken in 2006, when 78 per cent were resistant to Benzimidazole, thirty-four per cent were resistant to Levamisole and resistance to the other two wormers was considered to be low.”

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