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Autumn 2019 (Updated September 2019)

Welcome to the Autumn edition of Parasite Matters from Elanco Animal Health. Blowfly, Worms and Liver Fluke are the focus for Farmers across the country, with weather conditions a significant factor in timing and levels of burden.


Courtesy of the Met Office

Warm and Wet Weather patterns

  • Met Office Data shows that that the summer has been warm and wet, with average temperatures staying above 14⁰C and the high number of ‘rain days’ keeping conditions moist enough for high levels of parasite survival in the environment.

Courtesy of the Met Office

Blowfly strike

  • The level of fly activity has been exceptionally high in most areas of the country this summer. The blowfly risk remains ‘severe’. NADIS states “A wet end to August means that strike risk is now severe over most of the UK for both ewes and late lambs and is likely to remain severe over the next few weeks if current weather conditions prevail. High numbers of flies and warm wet weather create the perfect conditions for strike and high levels of surveillance remain essential”.
  • Shorter acting products including insect growth regulators (IGRs) should be considered as a ‘top up’ for those animals treated earlier in the season and for any animals not yet protected.

Courtesy of the Met Office


  • Many sheep flocks were caught out by the high worm challenge in Sep/Oct last year. This summer weather conditions favour worm survival on pasture, so expect continued high level of challenge well into the autumn for lambs on pasture. SCOPS recommends a ‘break dose’ with Grp4 AD (Zolvix™) or Grp5 SI products to help lambs reach their growth potential and manage resistance to the older 3 groups.
  • In first and second grazing season calves risk from PGE (parasitic gastro enteritis) and lungworm is likely to be at its’ highest late August/early September. Further treatments may be necessary before housing.

Liver Fluke

  • Last years liver fluke challenge was low and came later for most farms. This summer the warm, damp conditions have been ideal for the mud snail and therefore liver fluke lifecycle. Expect a higher level of challenge to happen earlier than last year (i.e. autumn rather than mid-winter). Challenge will vary from farm to farm, so farm level monitoring (fallen stock, abattoir returns and blood samples) is required for accurate timing of treatments. Use the right active, at the right time, for the stages of fluke present (including cattle around housing time) for best levels of control. See SCOPS or the COWS guide to liver fluke for more information.

Parasite Matters Archive

Parasite Matters Spring (published March 2019)
Parasite Matters Summer (published May 2019)


Watch how farmer Mike James incorporates Vecoxan into his coccidiosis control programme