As of the 1st of June 2022, worming products and other anti-parasitic drugs will no longer be readily available for farmers to purchase over the counter without a prescription.

Why are these implications coming in?

These measures have been introduced as a result of the overuse of worming products throughout the year. Antiparasitic resistance is an increasing concern in livestock farming. Resistance is present when a medicine does not kill the target parasites as expected. Although it may kill some of the parasites it may not kill all of them. Resistance is when less than 95% of susceptible worms are killed therefore allowing the leftover worms to modify their genetics to build resistance.

Every time animals are treated with an antiparasitic product there is a risk of resistance forming. Therefore alternative methods (herd or flock health plans, grazing management) of controlling worms in livestock that do not rely on dosing should be considered. Multiple factors contribute to the increased risk of resistance and parasite control planning should try to address these where possible.

How can we help our farmers combat worm burdens in livestock for the year ahead?

Animal Health Ireland have put in place a consultancy service between veterinary practitioners and their clients as part of the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health (TASAH). This is a free and voluntary programme supported as part of the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020, co-funded by the Irish government and the EU. The purpose of the parasite control TASAH is to facilitate discussions and planning between farmers and their veterinarians on the best practices around parasite control with the long term view of minimising the further development of antiparasitic resistance.

The TASAH will fund a veterinary farm visit and two faecal egg counts. The Parasitic Control TASAH Consult is open to all cattle and sheep farmers in Ireland. Herd or flock owners must nominate a trained, participating veterinary practitioner to undertake the farm visit.

If you are a herd or flock owner and would like to register for a Parasite Control TASAH, please click here.  For additional information contact our Large Animal team on 023 8847404.