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Articles tagged with: Animal Health Ireland

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s 2020 Nematodirus Forecast The disease

on Tuesday, 28 April 2020. Posted in Sheep

Nematodirosis is a severe parasitic disease of lambs six to twelve weeks of age which become infected through ingesting large numbers of infective larvae from grazing on contaminated pasture.

The life cycle of the causative worm, Nematodirus battus, is unlike that of other roundworms in that typically it takes almost a year on pasture before the egg hatches releasing the infective larva. There is a mass hatching of eggs in spring when the soil temperature increases after a period of cold weather and disease typically occurs in April, May and June.

After ingestion by lambs, Nematodirus larvae invade the wall of the intestine. Infection is characterised by profuse diarrhoea, dehydration and weight loss. In outbreak scenarios, lambs can be seen congregating around water troughs due to the severe thirst that develops, while the ewes which are unaffected continue to graze.

This disease is best prevented by keeping the current year’s lambs off pasture that was grazed by lambs or young calves (which can be carriers of infection) in the previous year. Enterprises with high stocking rates are particularly vulnerable. Please note that twin lambs, or single lambs born to ewes of poor milking ability may be at a greater risk of developing disease as they begin consuming greater amounts of grass earlier in life. If ‘clean’ pasture is available, preference should be given to moving these lambs first.

Liver Fluke Forecast November 2019

on Monday, 02 December 2019. Posted in Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Each year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in collaboration with Met Éireann advises farmers of the predicted risk of disease caused by liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) infection in livestock. This forecast is based on meteorologi

The Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) Liver Fluke Abattoir ELISA Survey

Blood samples collected by DAFM staff from a selection of lambs born in 2019 (928 flocks) across 25 counties were tested for the presence of antibodies to liver fluke by the DAFM Laboratory Service to determine the level of exposure of lambs in these flocks. Data from this survey indicates that the majority of infected flocks are from counties on the western seaboard. A particularly large number of positive results were reported from flocks located in Mayo and Donegal. In these counties, exposure to liver fluke was detected in June, while animals in the southwest were apparently not exposed before August. By October, there was evidence of fluke exposure in lambs from the midlands and large parts of Leinster. Please see for further details and maps of test results.

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