Liver Fluke update

With recent high rainfall to the West of Britain in 2017, there is a high risk of liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) according to the National Animal Disease Information Service (http://www.nadis.org.uk/parasite-forecast.aspx). Colin Capner a recent addition to the staff at Ridgeway Research attended London Vet Show (LVS) during November where there were discussions on a wide variety of veterinary related topics including liver fluke control in sheep. As increasing numbers of vets and farmers experience concerns around possible resistance to the currently available medicines used to treat fascioliasis – the disease caused by liver fluke – it is increasingly important to look at alternate strategies for control and treatment. The discussions at LVS centred on environmental control of fluke such as fencing off wet areas and the influence of tree planting. Trees assist in the drainage of land, stabilising and reducing algal growth on soil, all environmental factors that can limit snail populations that act as an important intermediate host for the parasite.