Worms and other endoparasites can be treated with anthelmintics but inappropriate use can reduce their effectiveness.

Anthelmintics are an option for treatment but their use must be judicious, based on sound veterinary principles and a good understanding of epidemiology. Every application increases the risk of development of resistance to anthelmintics.

The development of anthelmintic resistance is an increasing problem in the treatment of sheep, goats and horses worldwide. Resistance is also an emerging problem in cattle. In the UK, anthelmintic resistance is primarily a problem in the parasitic roundworms of food-producing animals and in some areas multi-drug resistance has now been documented. Such resistance is a serious and increasing threat to the health and welfare of grazing animals. If unchecked, it will have a potentially catastrophic impact on animal welfare and economic production.

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) is working with the Universities of Bristol and Liverpool, APHA and vets around the UK to produce a guide to the risk of significant hatch of nematodirus larvae. This is based on knowledge of the parasite and the effect of temperatures and soil temperature data recorded by Eblex.

BVA position

BVA believes that at a time when expert opinion is increasingly alarmed at the growth in resistance to anthelmintics in grazing animals it is important that all anthelmintics be classified as POM-V so that their use is conditional on appropriate veterinary advice for all species."

See the full BVA position statement on the use of anthelmintics in grazing animals.

BVA activity

Further information