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

With summer drenching season upon us, leading animal health company Virbac Australia has just completed a roadshow throughout regional New South Wales and Victoria, educating producers on parasite management, with a special focus on the importance of an effective summer drenching program and current drench resistance levels in the Yass, Boorowa, Euroa, Ballarat and Hamilton regions.

Virbac’s Target Sheep 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. The roadshow focused on how to increase productivity by managing worm resistance with an effective drench program. The Target Sheep events bring 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 this weeks events included Veterinary Parasitology Consultant, Dr Tim Elliott and Virbac Australia Area Sales Manager’s, Emily Fowler, Matthew Grylls and Rod Evans. 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 Yass event, Emily Fowler encouraged attendees to join Virbac’s Target Sheep program which allows producers to formulate sheep managing strategies specific to their region.

“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. The Target Sheep program is a practical forum with open discussions and engagement from independent experts. The group aims to tackle relative important issues throughout the sheep production cycle.”

Around 20 local sheep producers attended the Boorowa event, and Brad Smith from Neringah Farm described his local event as a very informative day. “I find it concerning that there will be no new drench actives being released in the near future and therefore appreciated Dr Tim Elliot's emphasis on the importance of drench selection and conducting regular worm egg counts.”

With summer storms becoming a common occurrence in the Boorowa region, Emily Fowler explained now is not the time to be complacent in worm management programs. “Summer storm events are breeding pools for barbers pole worm and liver fluke. We encouraged all attendees to continue monitoring their sheep and carry out regular worm egg tests as well as be aware of the resistance levels on their farm as no two farms are the same. Hopefully this has been a useful discussion for our local producers, 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.
Media Enquiries:
(02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843
Photo caption:
  1. Target Sheep Boorowa Event
  2. Target Sheep Yass Event