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South west has first nematodirosis outbreak

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South west has first nematodirosis outbreak

Date of alert:

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Crime Ref:


Devon & Cornwall Police

The unusually warm and sunny weather is putting lambs at risk from hatching nematodirus - and the south west has been hit already.

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) is urging sheep farmers act now by moving their lambs to low-risk pastures and starting drenches.

Speaking on behalf of the group, sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings said: “Nematodirosis can strike very quickly so you can’t afford to have a ‘wait and see’ policy.

"And because the damage is done by large numbers of immature larvae that are not producing eggs, faecal egg counts are not a reliable indicator of risk.

"Rapid action is often required, particularly if you have 2022-born lambs grazing pasture that carried lambs last spring.

"Lambs typically start eating significant amounts of grass at six to 12 weeks’ of age, although this may be younger if ewes are under stress and not milking well.”

For at-risk lambs, SCOPS recommends moving them to low-risk pasture, which was not grazed by lambs last spring.

South west has first nematodirosis outbreak

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