Livestock farmers are invited to attend one of a series of free workshops on worm and fluke control being organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) through their Better Grazing project in the coming weeks.
The farmer-focused meetings, which will be held across Scotland between 7th February and 1st March, will look at the challenges farmers face in controlling fluke and worm problems in their livestock and highlight best practice in diagnosis, control, treatment and pasture management.
There will also be practical sessions to help farmers to apply the principles to their own farms and highlight approaches such as monitoring animal weights as well as faecal egg counting.
Internal parasites can have a significant negative effect on the performance of grazing livestock, but the control of these parasites can be problematic. Which parasites stock are exposed to, and when, varies throughout the season, from year to year, farm to farm, and even field to field. Additionally, there is the need to avoid resistance to the chemical treatments available to manage them.
Livestock vets Fiona Lovatt and Joe Henry will be the key speakers at these meetings and will help guide farmers attending through managing internal parasites in their livestock at pasture.
“Appropriate internal parasite control is a key element in maximising livestock performance from grazed grass,” said Dr Lovatt, who runs the sheep veterinary consultancy business, Flock Health Ltd. Dr Lovatt’s business involves working with veterinary surgeons, farmers, processors, retailers and pharmaceutical companies in both UK and abroad.
“These interactive workshops will address the challenges that sheep and cattle farmers face when trying to manage worms and fluke in their livestock,” she added.
Dr Lovatt will deliver these workshop with the help of Joe Henry, a cattle vet working in Northumberland who is well respected for the practical veterinary advice he offers to beef farmers.
“These workshops will be as practical and hands on as possible, so that those attending will leave better equipped to apply best practice on their own farms,” said Mr Henry.
Launched last year, the main objective of the QMS “Better Grazing” Groups is to improve livestock producers’ profitability through better use of grass. Emily Grant, Knowledge Exchange Specialist at QMS, encouraged farmers to attend these workshops.
“There’s a lot to get to grips with in order to make the best decision about treatment and control options for internal parasites. Getting it right can reap rewards in terms of maximising growth rates and productivity. I’m hopeful that the interactive nature of this workshop will give those attending confidence that their control strategy is as effective as it can be. It is also timely as winter is a key time for managing fluke which has been an issue this year following our wet summer,” said Mrs Grant.
All of the “Better Grazing” meetings that are being held around Scotland over the coming weeks will begin at 10.15am with coffee, followed by a mix of presentations to cover the key topics as well as some hands-on exercises.
The “Better Grazing” meetings will be held at the Dryfesdale Hotel, Lockerbie on Wednesday 7 February, Melrose Rugby Club on Thursday 8 February, the Battleby Centre, Perth on Tuesday 27 February, The Jury’s Inn, Inverness on Wednesday 28 February and The Thainstone Centre, Inverurie on Thursday 1 March.
Attendance at these workshops is free and lunch will be provided. Booking is essential.
For more information about any of the meetings and to reserve your place, please contact QMS on 0131 472 4040 or email email@example.com