Bimeda UK are pleased to announce their sponsorship of the Suffolk Sheep Society in Ireland.
Many of the society’s breeders are users and strong advocates of the Bimeda Cosecure and Coseicure soluble glass bolus range.
Bimeda Northern Ireland Territory Manager, Kevin McAnenly, was pleased to attend a society event in May 2018 and to announce Bimeda’s sponsorship.
Bimeda UK are delighted to further their commitment to responsible sheep scab control by hosting a nationwide road show. We would like to welcome farmers, vets, SQPs and all with an interest in sheep health, welfare and productivity to attend.
Each regional event will feature different speakers who are all experts in the area of sheep scab control. They include
The speakers will discuss the sheep scab parasite and disease, control options including mobile plunge dipping contractors, an update on resistance to sheep scab treatments and will provide a forum for all attending to share ideas and unite on sheep scab control.
To RSVP for any of these events please email the contacts below with your name, email address and phone number:
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The use of a contract mobile plunge sheep dipper can be a cost-effective way of accessing dipping. To address the fact that farmers may not know how to go about finding and contacting their local contract sheep dipper, Bimeda have created the website https://www.bimeda.co.uk/mobile-dippers
In a matter of seconds, farmers, vets and SQPs can find the contact details of a number of contract sheep dippers, and information regarding how far they are willing to travel. Many are willing to travel throughout the UK to carry out dipping
Roy McCrea farms with his two sons, Richard and Mark in Tree Tops Farm. The farm is located in picturesque Claudy in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland. Tree Tops Farm is a dairy enterprise which milks 700 cows. The cows are very high performing, with milk yields of 9000kg, and the farm supplies Stathroy Dairies.
A number of years ago, the McCreas were concerned that their herd was not preforming as well as it should be. With the aid of their vet, they embarked on a quest to find out what was holding their herd back. They ran blood tests and sent their forage for mineral analysis. The diagnosis was trace element deficiencies - namely copper, cobalt selenium and iodine.
The local vet recommended the CoseIcure cattle bolus. They explained that boluses provide an convenient, cost-effective and controlled method of trace element supplementation to help with the cows health. The CoseIcure cattle boluse are unique as they are made of soluble glass, which was news to the McCreas! As a result, boluses provide exactly the same amount of trace elements every single day for up to 6 months. This means there are no variable intakes and no guesswork. As the same amount of trace elements are supplied every day, there are no peaks and troughs of supplementation, which could impact negatively on health and performance.
The vet also highlighted that using a bolus is particularly good for animals requiring cobalt and iodine which cannot be stored in the body and therefore a daily supply is required.
Another attraction of the CoseIcure boluses was their long-lasting nature - it is very convenient to use and reduces labour costs as the cows need only be bolused twice a year.
The farm purchased the CoseIcure boluses at their local Fane Valley store and started bolusing the cows at dry-off. This has paid dividends, with cow performance and health vastly improved. Now bolusing at dry-off is an essential part of the routine on farm. They also carry out regular blood tests and forage analysis to stay on top of the deficiencies.
In recent years the UK has experienced increasingly unpredictable weather conditions making the timing of preventative blowfly strike treatments more challenging. Up to 80% of farms are affected and up to half a million sheep are still struck annually.
High risk fly strike season was historically reasonably predictable - beginning in May and ending in September. Lately we have seen the season for blowfly strike beginning as early as March and ending as late as December when winters have been mild.
This variation in risk period means farmers must be more observant and more targeted in the timing of preventative treatments. It is no longer possible to predict treatment timings on management tasks, such as post shearing, but must instead be strategically employed when environmental conditions determine that the risk is high.
The life cycle of the female green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) begins when they hatch from their pupae in the soil - this is governed by environmental factors and generally falls around mid-April but can be earlier or later.
One adult female Greenbottle fly (Lucilia sericata) will deposit batches of approximately 200 eggs in the fleece. She will seek out damp, humid places to lay eggs. Fleeces which are contaminated with faeces and urine or even which are damp and humid make the perfect conditions for egg laying. One female fly can lay up to 3000 eggs in her 28 day life!
These eggs quickly hatch into larvae (or maggots) which produce enzymes. These enzymes digest the host tissue leading to skin damage and cause the painful wounds associated with blowfly strike. The developing maggots feed on the dead and dying tissue and produce powerful odours. These odours attract other egg-laying females and this quickly increases the numbers of eggs/larvae present.
If left untreated, the wounds will increase in size, become infected and ooze. This will cause the sheep to enter a state of shock and perish. This further complicates the situation as an undetected carcass would be an excellent host for more larvae to develop and exponentially increases the number of flies in the area.
If you delay preventative treatment for the flock until animals have become struck you will suffer losses (whether from death or reduced productivity). The most significant impact is on the welfare of the animals affected. By the time fly strike is observed in a small number of animals, many more may already have high numbers of eggs deposited in the fleece and may still go on to develop strike in spite of treatment.
Presence of organic matter in the fleece
Fleeces soiled with faeces or urine provides the perfect environment for fly strike and the presence of organic matter can reduce the efficacy of preventative products leaving the animals at high risk.
This could be from footrot, a dagging injury or potentially even a fly strike wound. Even where preventative products have been applied, animals with open wounds are still susceptible to strike and need to be monitored more closely until the wound has healed completely.
Humidity is a key risk factor for strike and thick fleeces can create the perfect, humid micro-climate for maggot development.
Prolonged periods of hot weather can lead to an explosion in the fly population resulting in a very high challenge to livestock.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a fly prevention product for your flock.
The withdrawal period and duration of action is very important as lambs may be going for sale in a matter of weeks and this will be a key factor in deciding what treatment is appropriate for the lamb crop. Consider the duration of protection you need and the cost associated with that treatment. It is also worth considering whether you require more than blowfly control? Would it be beneficial to also treat for other ectoparasites such as ticks, lice and scab?
For adult sheep ask your vet/SQP for a breakdown of the cost per treatment and which other parasites are covered to help decide which product is most appropriate for you.
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Data sheets for all products are available on the VMD website. Please consult them for the duration of action and additional information on the parasites controlled.
About the Author
Rachel Mallet is a Veterinary Surgeon, who now works as a Professional Services Vet providing technical support to vets, SQPs and farmers in the UK. Rachel is passionate about animal health and about promoting best practice and preventative medicine amongst farmers.
Date editorial prepared: February 2018
Use medicines responsibly. Noah.co.uk/responsible.
*Ectofly contains 12.5mg/ml cypermethrin Cis 80: Trans 20 and is a POM-VPS medicine.
Please consult your SQP or vet to determine which is the most appropriate preventative treatment for your flock and consult the SPC data sheets on the VMD website for further information.