Producers must be offered more advice when purchasing wormers

15 Aug 2018

Producers are not receiving all the appropriate information they need to make evidence-based wormer choices, regardless of whether they buy from vets, Suitably Qualified Persons (SQP) or vet pharmacists. So says new research, funded by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

The study, led by Moredun Research Institute’s Jacqui Matthews, involved an online survey of 330 sheep and cattle producers and indicated high awareness (greater than 96%) among producers of wormer resistance, but a disconnect between this and what they are doing to prevent it happening on their farms.

Evidence-based approach

“Based on what producers told us is being discussed when they buy wormers, it is clear there is some room for improvement in the advice being delivered on sustainable parasite management,” says Professor Matthews.

“Producers should be taking more evidence-based, rather than blanket, approaches to treatment, and carry out best practice actions, as outlined by groups such as Control of Worms Sustainably in cattle.

Best practice

“When asked about aspects of best practice, many respondents stated that these were not discussed at the point of wormer sale.”

She adds that all prescribers must give consistent and clear advice on wormer use at the point of sale, to ensure that producers use them in a manner that will not encourage resistance. “The recent strengthening of the farm-SQP qualification for dispensing wormers, delivered by AMTRA, will hopefully help improve this in future.”

The COWS advice on best practice for worming cattle can be found at