Roundworm & Bluetongue Virus (BTV) Surveys

Roundworm & Bluetongue Virus (BTV) Surveys


BRACE Biosecurity and Roundworm Advice for Cattle Enterprises is funded by BBRSC and looks at roundworm control and anthelmintic resistance. Below is the project summary and QR code to access the survey,


Project summary

Roundworms are known to impact on the productivity and welfare of livestock.  Despite roundworm infections in the national herd causing significant production losses, roundworm biosecurity and management is often a low priority for cattle producers.  Uncontrolled roundworm infections have been estimated to cause a reduction in weight gain during the first and second grazing seasons and reduction in milk yield by up to 2.2kg per cow, per day.  The effective control of roundworms typically relies on wormer (anthelmintic) treatments, in the UK there are only three wormer (anthelmintic) classes (white, yellow and clear) licenced for use in cattle and resistance to all these products has been identified. Clear wormer resistance has been commonly reported in the UK, particularly against the cattle worm Cooperia. Resistance to the white and yellow wormers have also been recorded, but it is still unclear how common these are in the UK. Continued usage of potentially ineffective drugs could leave herds vulnerable to infection with resistant roundworms and a lack of options for future control.
As treatment options become limited, it is important to reduce the risk of importing drug resistant roundworms onto farm. One effective, but commonly overlooked, control strategy is through effective quarantine wormer treatment and appropriate biosecurity. Ensuring measures are taken to limit the spread of disease between farms and prevent wormer-resistant roundworms being introduced is essential for increasing the lifespan of the available wormers.  Previous questionnaire work highlighted that only half of the cattle farmers administered any wormer treatments to newly purchased stock. To improve uptake of biosecurity recommendations, we must first understand the risk posed by traded cattle; clarifying how big a problem roundworms are in commercial cattle and understand the associated risk of transporting wormer-resistant roundworms onto farm.
We want to develop a set of simple, implementable recommendations for cattle farmers which will minimise the risk of introducing wormer resistance into herds and help to control roundworms effectively, maximising productivity, cattle health and welfare.
We want your help to achieve this – if you can spare 10 minutes, please complete our questionnaire on cattle management by scanning the QR code below. Gathering information on current management practices will help us tailor the recommendations and ensure they will be easy to achieve on farm. Watch out for updates from the BRACE study over the next few years as we continue our research and deliver our findings.

Blue Tongue Virus

Funded by EPIC (Scottish Centre of Expertise on animal Disease Outbreaks), we are interested in Farmers perception of BTV to help us to understand the attitudes of livestock keepers to this emerging threat and potential risk to their and neighbouring livestock. The survey results will help inform policy makers and other relevant bodies in decision making when dealing with the disease.
Background: BTV is a notifiable insect-borne viral disease that affects sheep, cattle and other ruminants. It relies on the midge as a vector for transmission and is a problem during high vector periods. Until recently the UK has been free from the disease but lately there have been bluetongue cases confirmed in southern England. As of November March 20243, there have been 126 bluetongue cases confirmed in England across 73 premises in 4 counties. ( Although it BTV is not believed to be currently circulating in biting midges in the UK, the return to the high vector season means livestock keepers need to be aware of the symptoms.

Approach: An anonymous survey is being distributed to livestock keepers (both commercial and small scale) in the UK. In addition respondents are invited to leave their name and contact details should they wish to take part in a follow up interview to provide further insights into their attitudes and behaviour changes in response to the threat and risk of towards BTV disease.

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