Sheep Measles - Is your farm Affected??
The Tararua and Manawatu regions both have a very
high incidence of sheep measles – is your farm one of those?
What is sheep measles?
Sheep measles is the common name for the
intermediate stage of a tapeworm parasite Cystircercus
ovis (C. ovis)). The adult worm lives in the dog, the eggs are passed in
the faeces and then ingested by the sheep where they form cysts in the muscle,
dogs that eat raw affected meat continue the cycle. See diagram one below.
Is it an issue?
While sheep measles do not affect the health of the
sheep they do affect the presentation of the carcass and therefore can result
in the rejection of your meat by some markets. The presence of sheep measles
also results in significant carcass trimming and hence less money in your
Within the Tararua and Manawatu areas over 40 farms
in each district have recently been notified that they have a sheep measles
issue on their farm – were you one of them? Checking your kill sheets is a good
place to start to assess if you are having an issue.
How to prevent sheep measles
1. Regular worming
All dogs need to be wormed three monthly with
Drontal Allwormer®. On properties that have sheep measles issues dogs also need
to be wormed monthly with Droncit®.
2. Prevent scavenging
Scavenging allows the lifecycle to continue. Bury
or remove dead stock as soon as possible.
3. Outside dogs
Ensure ALL dogs that enter your property have been
correctly wormed at least three to four days BEFORE they arrive. Pet and/or
hunting dogs are often a problem in regards to introducing sheep measles onto a
4. Correct meat handling
Meat fed to dogs, such as home-kill, needs to be
correctly handled to kill any cysts in the meat. Meat needs to be frozen at -10°C
for at least seven days prior to feeding, and all offal needs to be cooked.
If you are having a sheep measles issue enquire with
us – we can help.