Experts within the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group are continuing to urge farmers to move away from blanket-worming of ewes around lambing and towards a more targeted approach.

Speaking on behalf of SCOPS, independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings said that healthy ewes in optimum body condition have good immunity to roundworms. Instead, it is those in poor condition that will have compromised immunity and shed large amounts of eggs in dung.

“We now know that treating all ewes isn’t necessary and speeds up the development of anthelmintic resistance,” said Stubbings. “It’s really important to target which ewes you treat, rather than inadvertently creating a different problem further down the line by blanket treating everything. In many cases, only a small proportion of ewes need to be wormed.” she added.