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Video: Parasite control for organic ruminants

Gastrointestinal parasitism is a major challenge to the health and welfare of organic livestock. Although considerable research has taken place on alternative parasite control, farmers are still hesitating to implement novel approaches. In this video, Spiridoula Athanasiadou explains how the PrOPara project wants to change this.

Poject PrOPara (Evaluation of practices for parasitecontrol in organic ruminant Systems) is delivering new tools for parasite control and novel information based on surveys and stakeholder participation studies on current helminthic control strategies for ruminants around Europe.   ProPara is funded under COREOrganic Plus (www.coreorganic.org).

To ensure a significant impact on this, the researchers have incorporated a socioeconomic, status quo and farmers’ acceptance analysis. This will facilitate the wide deployment of integrated strategies by organic ruminant farmers.

Parasite control on Swiss small ruminant farms

A survey, carried out by FiBL on Swiss organic small ruminant farms, found that in general, farmers were aware of the potential benefit of an adequate grazing management to reduce gastrointestinal nematodes infection. However, practical realisation was often limiting. On average it was stated that adult meat sheep and dairy goats were drenched 1.5 and 1.3 times per animal and year, respectively, whilst lambs and kids were treated 1.6 and 1.3 times per animal and year, respectively. 16% of the interviewed organic goat farmers and 10% of the organic meat sheep farmers stated that they have confirmed anthelmintic resistance on their properties. In total, 52 meat sheep and 58 dairy goat farm participated in this survey.

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Steffen Werne

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