by Ryan Evans, Eurofins Animal Health
Eurofins Animal Health (EAH) are offering a unique opportunity to producers currently experiencing lice issues within their flock. EAH, a Contract Research Organisation, collaborates with leading veterinary pharmaceutical companies (both local and global) to assist with the registration of new products (veterinary medicines).
EAH are currently involved in the development of new sheep lice treatments, which are soon to be evaluated against natural sheep body lice (Bovicola ovis) infestations in commercial flocks through a series of lice field trials to be conducted under commercial conditions.
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To assess the effectiveness of the new lice treatments, EAH are currently seeking interest from commercial producers for participation in the upcoming field trial programs. The programs will consist of a series of trials to be conducted across the high-rainfall, wheat-sheep and pastoral zones. This will enable producers from a range of geographical locations to participate, with trial designs to suit a range of production cycles and commercial operations.
Trial sites will be recruited (see ParaBoss note below article) from commercial sheep properties based on suitability criteria and the availability of mobs with lice infestation issues. Lice treatment will be supplied and managed by EAH for each participating site. All sheep in the trial mob are to be treated with the innovative product (free of charge), with animals to remain on-farm under routine management for the duration of the trial. EAH personnel will conduct efficacy assessments (lice counts) and co-ordinate with the operations of co-operating producers to assess the performance of the product under field conditions at each site. In addition to the effective control of lice issues, co-operating producers will be compensated for their participation and resource time.
The lice products to be assessed have demonstrated strong efficacy against B. ovis infestations during preliminary trials under controlled pen conditions. The sheep lice field trial programs present unique opportunities for sheep producers to be involved with the development of new and innovative lice treatments. Any producers that are currently experiencing issues with lice are encouraged to contact EAH for further information and to discuss the potential benefits of field trial participation. In addition to the effective management of current lice issues, trial participation will support improved sheep lice management for years to come.
Ry Evans – Eurofins Animal Health
Phone: 0455 027 554
Producers interested to participate should be aware that there will be specific conditions for their participation. This may include that treated sheep might not be able to be sold before a certain time, the trial sheep may not comprise the whole flock, the trial mob may need to remain segregated, and it may require your resource time to participate. On the other hand, assuming the treatment is effective, you will have some or all of your sheep treated for free and no doubt you will gain valuable knowledge by your interaction with the participating company representatives. Ensure you ask for all the participation details from EAH personnel and consider whether your circumstances allow you to meet the conditions before agreeing to participate.