Original Research

Production trials involving use of the FAMACHA© system for haemonchosis in sheep : preliminary results

J.A. Van Wyk
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 75, No 4 | a109 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v75i4.109 | © 2008 J.A. Van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2008 | Published: 10 September 2008

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J.A. Van Wyk,

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Abstract

In three trials conducted on two separate farms the production of sheep treated for naturally acquired haemonchosis using the FAMACHA© system of targeted selective treatment (TST) (i.e. to treat only those animals unable to manage unaided in the face of heavy Haemonchus challenge) was compared to that of suppressively drenched sheep in the same flock. As expected by the research team who developed and evaluated the FAMACHA© system, TST did result in some loss in production. However, despite high levels of worm challenge in two of the trials and the fact that the comparison was with suppressive drenching which is not sustainable, the total effect was relatively small in relation to the important advantage of using the TST as regards reduced selection for anthelmintic resistance (AR).
Concerning the sustainability of worm control, it is concluded that the development of drug resistance to anthelmintics leaves sheep and goat farmers in South Africa no choice but to use methods of TST such as FAMACHA©. The FAMACHA© system can also be a useful clinical aid for early on-farm detection of AR by farmers; the degree of improvement in the colour of the ocular mucous membrane from pale to red in individually drenched anaemic animals over a period of 7-14 days can give a good indication of the efficacy of the compound(s) used.

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