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Title: Towards sustainable parasite control in sheep
Author: Blair, Stewart
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis aims to investigate the prevalence and control of both endoparasites and ectoparasites of sheep and the prevalence of anthelmintic resistance on sheep farms in Northern Ireland via a unique approach involving on farm, face-to-face interviews and sampling, rather than a more common hands off postal survey. Analysis of faecal samples and producers' own records revealed that sheep across the province are subject to infection by a range of parasite species including; nematodes, Nematodirus spp., Trichostrongylus spp., Teladorsagia circumcincta, Haemonchus contortus, Cooperia spp., Capillaria spp., Strongyloides spp., trematode, Fasciola hepatica, cestode, Moniezia expansa, arthropod, Bovicola ovis, Psoroptes ovis, Ixodes ricinus, Oestrus ovis, Lucillia spp. and Calliphora spp. Questionnaire data revealed that the majority of producers are not fully aware of the impacts of clinical, sub clinical infections or anthelmintic resistance and none had attempted to perform any form of cost-benefit analysis to assess the impact of infection or success of a control strategy. Despite user-friendly guidelines sustainable parasite control being available, control within the N.!. sheep industry is broadly based on regular prophylactic blanket treatments incorporating ineffective treatments such as inaccurate dosing per weight and inappropriate drug/chemical choice. Not only are these practices ineffective at controlling the parasite population already present but they also drive selection pressure towards the development and proliferation of resistant alleles in future generations. An investigation of the anthelmintic resistance status of the study farms via faecal egg count reduction testing and egg hatch assays has shown single and multidrug anthelmintic resistance to be commonplace. Overall this study highlights that a drastic shift in flock health management must occur if the sheep industry is to remain economically viable. This can only be achieved by better awareness and application of best practice guidelines and cooperation between farmers, vets and researchers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available