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Liver Fluke and Cattle

SCOPS and COWS have teamed up to provide regular updates on liver fluke using all the information available across the UK, including a look at the impact of recent weather, advice to farmers, and fluke testing options.

Download the latest (6 November) update here.

COWS produces a list of flukicide products for cattle showing flukicide product names, active ingredients, age of fluke killed, method of application, withdrawal period, and whether they also have activity against other internal and external cattle parasites. Download the latest version.
The COWS guide to managing liver fluke in bought-in cattle is now available.

Bringing in cattle or sheep from markets, other farms or common grazing can introduce new diseases to your own farm, including parasites such as liver fluke. Liver fluke is a common parasite that infects cattle, sheep and other domestic animals as well as wildlife such as deer and rabbits.

The COWS Guide to Liver Fluke for farmers has been launched. Do you know your way around liver fluke?

Fluke infection is estimated to cost the UK agricultural industry up to £300 million a year. With little evidence that cattle can develop immunity to fluke infection, now is the time to find out all you need to know about how to effectively control this parasite.

The Liver Fluke (and rumen fluke) section of the cattle parasites technical manual has been updated and republished.

Top Ten Tips for controlling liver fluke in cattle

  1. Identify high risk areas of fluke
  2. Ask for abattoir feedback on any liver rejections
  3. Investigate losses in sheep
  4. Treat your cattle using the most appropriate drug, most suitable for time of year and management of cattle involved
  5. Always treat effectively
  6. Consider if you need to reduce pasture contamination levels in spring/summer
  7. Remember to repeat the treatment if necessary
  8. Have an effective control plan for cattle that reduces the risk of resistance
  9. Quarantine all incoming stock
  10. Be Prepared
Read more about COWS Top Ten Tips for Controlling Liver Fluke in Cattle

Dairy cattle and flukicides

NOAH and the VMD have issued a joint statement outlining what products can be used at different stages of a dairy cow’s production cycle, plus detailing limitations on use in dry period and describing the withdrawal periods that must be followed, following changes to the marketing authorisations of some flukicides. This advice is for dairy cattle only, and does not apply to meat withdrawal periods.

More about fluke in cattle

"An overview for practitioners"

Veterinary surgeons in particular may be interested to read "Liver fluke - an overview for practitioners" by Diana Williams et al., presented at BCVA Congress 2014. We are grateful for permission to include it here.

Fluke Workshop

A workshop was held at the University of Liverpool on 11 March 2013 entitled "Taking Action to Tackle Liver Fluke in Sheep and Cattle".