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Worm Control Program – Tasmania

Program summary

The WormBoss worm control program for Tasmania has five components that are most effective when used in combination.

Open the complete program (PDF)

A summary of the components is below (see further chapters in the PDF for details).

1. Use grazing management to create low worm­‐risk autumn and winter weaner paddocks

  • Prepare autumn and winter weaner paddocks by using ‘Smart grazing’ where possible (details page 18). Give the weaners an effective drench before they enter the ‘Smart grazed’ paddock.
  • Select weaning paddocks with lower worm-risk—these could be hay paddocks, new pastures, stubbles or paddocks grazed by mature cattle, but do not compromise nutrition to provide safe grazing.
  • For more on ‘Smart grazing for weaner worm control’, see Appendices: Further information on sheep worm control for Tasmania.

2. Breed and feed for worm‐resistant sheep

  • Use rams with better than average worm egg count (WEC ASBVs1) and, if applicable to your area, less dag (DAG ASBVs); choose the more negative values for both.
  • Maintain good nutrition to enhance the sheep’s immunity to worms.

3. WormTest at recommended times

  • Before the second summer drench (January) to ensure it is required.
  • Weaners 34 weeks and ewes 6–8 weeks after all short-acting drenches.
  • After a WormTest shows drenching is not required, test again in a further 34 weeks for weaners or 6–8 weeks for ewes.
  • Ewes going onto crop that is to be kept low worm-risk for weaners, as well as the weaners before they use the paddock.
  • Sheep showing apparent signs of barber’s pole worm (especially during January in the summer rainfall region and on irrigated summer pastures).
  • Wethers prior to mustering for routine management activities.
  • And at other non­‐routine times as described in the Drench Decision Guide.

4. Drench2 at recommended times

  • Breeding ewes pre-lambing.
  • Lambs at weaning.
  • Give the first summer drench at lamb marking time (low rainfall) or at weaning time (medium to high rainfall region and summer rainfall). Consult your adviser.
  • Sheep going onto paddocks that are to be kept low worm-risk for weaners.
  • Weaners going onto highly contaminated short-rotation ryegrass pastures (i.e. in the pasture’s second or third year). Consider a long-acting product.
  • Drench all introduced sheep with a combination of no less than 4 unrelated drench groups with at least one of these being the newest drench actives: monepantel (Zolvix®) or derquantel (with abamectin—Startect®)3
  • At other times, use the Drench Decision Guide to make drenching decisions.

5. Manage drench resistance

  • Conduct DrenchTests each 2–3 years, and use DrenchCheck-­‐Day14s in between.
  • Avoid unnecessary drenching.
  • Use effective drenches and multi-active3 combinations where possible.
  • In general, use short-acting treatments and restrict the use of long-acting products for specific purposes and high-risk times of the year (see later in this program).
  • Rotate among all effective drench groups3 for each mob (and each paddock where possible).
  • Calibrate your drench guns, dose to the heaviest sheep and follow label instructions.

1ASBVs=Australian Sheep Breeding Values.

2Drench refers to anthelmintics regardless of route of administration

3 Drench groups are the chemical family to which an ‘active’ belongs. An ‘active’ is the chemical in a drench responsible for killing worms. Some drenches contain more than one active and are called ‘multi‐active’ or ‘combination’ drenches. See ‘Drench groups and actives’ at Appendices: Further information on sheep worm control for Tasmania.

This is an up-to-date, integrated regional worm control program for sheep in Tasmania. It builds upon earlier programs and accumulated knowledge, as well as new information from the Integrated Parasite Management in Sheep project, funded by Australian Wool Innovation.

The program aims to improve the profitability and welfare of your sheep through

  • fewer deaths and illness from worms
  • fewer drenches, particularly long-acting drenches
  • improved productivity
  • prolonged life of drenches

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