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Target Sheep event tours New South Wales offering key insights in the fight against worms.

With summer drenching season fast approaching, leading animal health company Virbac Australia has just wrapped up a roadshow throughout regional New South Wales, educating producers on parasite management, with a special focus on current drench resistance levels in the Cootamundra, Gundagai and Tamworth regions.

Virbac’s Target Sheep animal health initiative is aimed at optimising the health and performance of livestock at three key stages of the production cycle; pre-joining, pre-lambing and marking/weaning. These events focused on how to increase productivity by managing worm resistance with an effective drench program. The program brings together industry experts, veterinarians and producers to improve on-farm productivity and profitability through leading animal health management practices and industry benchmarks.

Key speakers at recent events included Veterinary Parasitology Consultant, Dr Tim Elliott and Virbac Australia Area Sales Manager’s, Emily Fowler, Adrian Whitehead and Andrew Mulligan. Tim’s presentation educated producers about worm biology and their life cycle, with tips on pasture management and drench strategies to reduce the risk of internal parasites specific to the region.

“A summer drench at this time of year needs to be a very effective drench to ensure a successful reduction in worm burden,” said Tim. “Weaned lambs are highly susceptible to worms, but effective drenching helps to increase weaner growth rates. For all these reasons, this first summer drench is of vital importance, so farmers can remove the worm burden in individual livestock, reduce pasture contamination from worms and allow for healthier weaners over summer.”

During the Gundagai event, Adrian Whitehead explained the importance of a pre-summer drench and how to develop the right summer drench program for your property.

“With resistance to treatment becoming an increasing problem, the summer drench farmers choose can make a huge difference in the success of any worm control program. For these reasons, farmers must choose a potent and persistent solution that protects stock against infection and boosts sheep wellbeing and productivity, for healthier, more profitable farms. Tim’s presentation really highlighted the need for all sheep producers to carry out regular worm tests and be aware of the resistance levels on their farm as no two farms are the same.”

Around 20 local sheep producers attended the Gundagai event, and Tony Engel from “Cascade”, South West Slopes NSW described his local event as “a great opportunity to learn how to identify resistance to drenches and how to best manage it. Tim’s presentation allowed me to understand how resistance can occur and it is important to be on the front foot. Adrian Whitehead from Virbac will come out to do some drench resistance testing on my weaners which will be very informative, and I will use that information to select the right drenches for my property.”

With drought conditions still a major issue across much of NSW, Adrian Whitehead explained now is not the time to be complacent in worm management programs. “We encouraged all attendees to continue monitoring their sheep and carry out regular worm egg tests as we approach summer”. “Hopefully this has been a useful discussion for the group, and it’s given them some useful information to now go out and act on.”

Virbac will be hosting further Target Sheep events throughout Australia in the coming months. For more information, visit https://au.virbac.com, follow Virbac Australia on Facebook or Instagram or call 1800 242 100.
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Photo caption:
  1. Target Sheep Cootamundra event presentation
  2. Local producer's sheep