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Farmers Not Choosing or Using Fluke Products Correctly

18 November 2014

Livers are condemned every year because the wrong products are used at the wrong time, Irish farmers are being told.

Every farmer knows what liver fluke is. The market has been full for years with different products to control it, write consultants at the Agriculture Food and Development Authority (Teagasc). 

Most farmers do treat their stock over the winter to combat it. And yet every year we hear of livers being condemned in factories due to severe fluke infestation even on farms where a ‘control’ programme was in place.

             Choose your liver fluke products with care, advise Teagasc experts



All too often a fluke product is being given too early after cattle are housed and only a percentage of the fluke are being killed, and the necessary follow-up treatment a number of weeks later is not being given. When choosing a liver fluke control product you need to ask:

(1) what age fluke will this kill?

(2) based on the answer to this, how many weeks after I house my stock should I use this product?

With some fluke products you would actually need to wait almost three months after housing if you wanted to get away with just one treatment (because they only kill adult fluke).

With others you need to wait at least six weeks. The alternative is to treat 10 days after housing and then follow it up (if necessary) with a second treatment the required number of weeks later.

Combination worm and fluke treatment products are popular now on many farms.

Speak to your vet before using one of these, or any fluke product, to work out the correct strategy for using them. Otherwise you may be only half doing the job.

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