At the end of 2012 we undertook a wormer resistance trial, with partial funding through the South West Healthy Livestock Initiative we were able to link with a local vet group who took us through the process. So why did we consider taking part in such a trial, one may argue, better not to know the status of wormer resistance in your flock, or perhaps use one of the new wormers in the flock to which there is no known resistance? A look at the SCOPS website will portray a dim picture of wormer resistance within the UK and an ever dimmer picture across New Zealand and Australia. Do we want to be in the same situation as them? Awaiting the development of new products as the only method to keeping sheep on your holding? We did not want that. What we were looking for was to reduce our dependency on wormers, understanding the problems and strategic use of wormers. Saving money! In a nutshell our resistance testing indicated that we have worms that are resistant to two wormer groups, the white drenches such as Panacur and the yellow drenches including Levamisole. So how has this affected us? We now treat much more strategically, we are aware of the worm burden within the sheep and dose when the faecal egg counts indicate it is necessary, with a wormer we know works. Although we continue to monitor the efficiency of the wormer we use. The funding enabled us to purchase us to purchase a fecpak, which is a microscope and associated kit enabling us – well me – to count the faecal egg burden of a flock from a sample of their poo. This may not be everyone’s idea of an evening well spent, but another option is to speak to your vet or agricultural supplier who may well offer a faecal egg count service. None of us can afford to treat with a product that does not work, none of us want to for that matter, a resistance test is not a blame game – or avoiding buying sheep with resistance, the levels of resistance to some drench groups are high throughout the UK, most vets are only too willing to offer advice on worming your sheep. The current advice on the new drenches released over the last two years is to use them as a clear out drench once during the year. As this product is only available through your vet – ask them for some advice. This wet weather after such a dry period, may result in a high worm burden – keep a look out on the SCOPs website and speak to your vet. Fly strike – some products may not have as long a prevention as thought. Keep a look out for that tell tale head down and running or continually turning to itch their tails – with a damp looking patch or feint stain on the wool, even clean wool, don’t leave it untreated – your sheep will die if left with fly strike. There are various products on the market – some treat existing strike, other products are only preventative and the meat withdrawal period ranges from 7 days to 63 days – so take care. Ann Willcocks, Flock 894