Liver fluke is not host specific and will cause disease and production losses in cattle as well as in sheep. Food Standards Agency (FSA) data from 2012 shows that 22% of cattle livers1 were condemned due to liver fluke infection.
Because cattle have a much larger liver than sheep, clinical signs of acute disease are not commonly seen. However, all three stages of liver fluke (early immature, immature and adult) are known to cause liver damage and decrease feed intakes and efficiency of utilisation.2
Liver fluke can reduce the fat content and decrease milk yield by 3.8 to 15.2 percent in affected animals.3
Check individual product SPC for withdrawal periods and restrictions on use
Animals with 1-10 fluke present in their liver at slaughter took on average 31 days longer to reach slaughter weight, while animals with more than 10 took on average 77 days longer to finish.4
The four key elements of an effective liver fluke control plan apply equally to cattle. The majority of cattle are treated at, or around, housing time. when there is likely to be a varying number of different stages of fluke in the liver. It is therefore important to treat using the right active at the right time after housing depending on which stages of fluke are killed by the product.
1 (510,269) (AHDB, 2012 STOCK BRIEFING NOTE)
2 Sykes AR, Coop, RL, Rushton, B (1980) Chronic subclinical fascioliasis in sheep: effects on food intake, food utilisation and blood constituents, Research in Veterinary Science Vol 28 No 1 pp 63-70.
3 Schweizer, G., Braun, U., Deplazes, P., Torgerson, P.R., 2005. Estimating the financial losses due to bovine fasciolosis in Switzerland. Vet. Rec. 157,188–193.
4 Estimation of the impact of Fasciola hepatica infection on time taken for UK beef cattle to reach slaughter weight Stella Mazeri, Gustaf Rydevik, Ian Handel, Barend M. deC. Bronsvoort & Neil Sargison Nature/Scientific Reports | 7: 7319