WRML.2017-05-30.wormfax.northern sheep losses.bees.wild dogs, bio-herbicides etc

In this issue:


Go one better: check out ParaBoss news

Northern sheep losses – Biddle

LLS District Veterinarians

New guide for beekeepers

Wild dogs in Australia

Bio-herbicide for Noogoora burr?

Wedgies v drones; phrases we get wrong; machine learning?

WormFaxNSW – April 2017 edition

The April edition is now up on the web:


Due to mild to warm temperatures and above average rain in autumn in many areas in NSW, high worm egg counts were not unusual, and often due to barber’s pole worm.

See also Andrew Biddle’s comments reported in the article, ‘Northern sheep losses’.

Go one better: check out ParaBoss News

http://www.paraboss.com.au/news/outlooks/nsw.php (You can subscribe).

Better than just looking at numbers (WormFax), read ParaBoss News, where there is commentary by experts in various regions in Australia on sheep worms and other health issues.

In NSW, most of this commentary comes from the LLS District Veterinarians. Your rates and taxes at work! 

ParaBoss news helps to make ParaBoss, including WormBoss, Australia’s premier resource on parasite management in sheep (worms, flies, lice) and goats (worms only). (And ‘cattle’ are in the pipeline….)

Northern sheep losses

LLS District Veterinarian speaks about sheep losses in northern NSW:

http://www.sheepcentral.com/northern-nsw-sheep-losses-prompt-call-for-quick-action-on-flock-condition/    Yep, the inimitable Dr Andrew Biddle.

LLS District Veterinarians

A great resource. (In my humble but authoritative opinion 🙂 )


New guide to assist beekeepers harvest and extract honey


Photo credit/source: NSW DPI; photographer unknown/not stated.

Bill Winner, Capilano Beekeeper Services Manager and Doug Somerville, DPI Technical Specialist Honey Bees, co-authors of the new ‘Honey harvesting and extracting guide’.

Yep.. bees are livestock too. And they get parasites.

Wild Dogs in Australia

Published on May 16, 2017

In this video, Dr Ben Allen and Dr Matt Gentle from Queensland give an overview as to the current impact of wild dogs in Australia and what we know about their ecology, movement and behaviour.

This video was funded through the National Wild Dog Action Plan.

Noogoora burr project aims to develop bio-herbicide

A NEW project focused on developing a bio-herbicide to tackle Noogoora burr, a weed which impacts on both cropping and livestock industries in the eastern states of Australia, has received Federal Government funding.

More at: http://www.farmingahead.com.au/cropping/cropping-general/noogoora-burr-project-aims-to-develop-bio-herbicide/

Phrases we get wrong


One more for the wedgies: wedgies vs drones


Machine learning

machine_learning xkcd

Source/credit: https://xkcd.com/1838/

 SL, Armidale 30 May 2017

 so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy; unique

WRML.2017-05-24.multidrug resist Haemonchus-N NSW.drench prices.AskBill.composite faecal samples.etc

 In this issue:

  • Case report – multi-drench resistance-Northern NSW-Lamb et al
  • Price of drenches – Maxwell D /WormBoss/ParaBoss news
  • AskBill -Sheep CRC (not Kill Bill! (Tarantino) )
  • Composite faecal samples for testing – cattle worms – George MM et al
  • Other wormy papers
  • Skylights named ‘Steve’
  • Poisonous plants, livestock and diabetes drug
  • Pooch’s Peri-urban perambulations – Meek P et al
  • Other

Broad Spectrum Anthelmintic Resistance of Haemonchus contortus in Northern NSW – case report

Lamb J and others, 2017. Broad Spectrum Anthelmintic Resistance of Haemonchus contortus in Northern NSW of Australia. (Short communication). Vet Parasitology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.05.008


  • Faecal egg count reduction test conducted in Northern NSW highlighting resistance.
  • Haemonchus contortus demonstrated resistance to a broad spectrum of anthelmintics.
  • Reduced efficacy to anthelmintics in combination and recently registered products.
  • Anthelmintics used as fundamental control of internal parasites.

On a sheep farm in Northern New South Wales (NSW) of Australia a degree of anthelmintic resistance was suspected. With noticeable clinical signs of infection and sheep not responding to treatment, a faecal egg count reduction test was conducted to ascertain the broad spectrum of anthelmintic resistance at this farm. A number of classes of anthelmintics were assessed including organophosphate, macrocyclic lactone (ML) and in combination an ML, benzimidazole, levamisole and salicylanilide. In addition, the more recently registered classes of anthelmintics, monepantel (amino-acetonitrile derivative) and derquantel/abamectin combination (spiroindole + ML) were included.

Ninety merino sheep naturally infected with a field strain of Haemonchus contortus were randomly allocated to 6 treatment groups (15 animals/group). Sheep were subsequently treated based on label recommendations and individual bodyweight. Faecal samples were collected post-treatment on Days 7, 14 and 21 to conduct faecal egg counts and group bulk larval cultures.

Broad spectrum anthelmintic resistance was confirmed at this site with treatment efficacies ranging from 21.3% (monepantel) to 93.8% (derquantel/abamectin combination) against the H. contortus strain. Furthermore, resistance to the multi-combination anthelmintic containing 4 active ingredients was evident (52.5%). This broad spectrum of resistance highlights the need for integration of alternative sustainable methods in parasite control in order to slow development of resistance and increase the life time effectiveness of anthelmintics.

Price of drenches

If you subscribe to ParaBoss Monthly News, you would already know this…

BUT…ParaBoss Operations manager Dr Deb Maxwell says this in the latest feature article..

The WormBoss Drenches section now shows drench prices—but price per dose should be at the bottom of the list of criteria when choosing a drench. >> Read more.

Bottom line: the most expensive drench is the one that doesn’t work

Get ahead of the game: subscribe to ParaBoss News (paraboss.com.au), which includes WormBoss.



“From May 22 we will be undertaking a limited offering of the ASKBILL app as part of a pre-release user feedback program – a vital step in putting the finishing touches to the product prior to ASKBILL’s commercial release later this year.

We will be promoting this offer to the public from May 22, but places will be limited – if you or your colleagues would like to register your interest in participating initiative please email David Faulkner at – dfaulkn3@une.edu.au.”

Using composite fecal samples when testing for anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle

George MM, Paras KL, Howell SB and Kaplan RM, 2017. Utilization of composite fecal samples for detection of anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of cattle Veterinary Parasitology 240 15 June 2017 pp24–29

98.9% agreement in mean fecal egg count of individual and composite samples.
95.9% agreement in fecal egg count reduction of individual and composite samples.
Methods for conducting composite sampling were described.
Composite sampling is a practical tool for cattle producers to assess resistance.
This method may improve parasitological testing among producers.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304401717301863   As always, read it and decide for yourself.

Some other wormy papers

Mathilde Saccareau et al 2017 Meta-analysis of the parasitic phase traits of Haemonchus contortus infection in sheep Parasites & Vectors 2017

Rose H et al 2016 Climate-driven changes to the spatio-temporal distribution of the parasitic nematode, Haemonchus contortus, in sheep in Europe Global Change Biology (2016) 22, 1271–1285, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13132

Matthews, J. B., Geldhof, P., Tzelos, T. and Claerebout, E. (2016), Progress in the development of subunit vaccines for gastrointestinal nematodes of ruminants. Parasite Immunol, 38: 744–753. doi:10.1111/pim.12391

New night sky lights called Steve


Plant poisoning of livestock in New Zealand

New Zealand Veterinary Journal Vol. 50 , Iss. Sup3,2002

I came across the article below while reading about similar compounds in toxic plants, Verbesina encelioides (crownbeard) and Galega spp).

Metformin: its botanical background
Dr CJ Bailey PhD, FRCP, FRCPath, C Day PhD, PGCE, CBiol



This article traces the roots of the antihyperglycaemic biguanide metformin from the use of Galega officinalis (goat’s rue or French lilac) as a herbal treatment for the symptoms of diabetes. G. officinalis was found to be rich in guanidine, a substance with blood glucose-lowering activity that formed the chemical basis of metformin. This insulin sensitising drug was introduced in 1957. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Postscript of ironies

There are several ironies about metformin. In our high-tech era of drug discovery and development this first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes is little removed from a herbal remedy of the middle ages. Despite its chemical simplicity and detailed investigation, metformin continues to evade a complete exposé of its cellular activity. While endless pharmacovigilance has monitored the safety profile of metformin, its natural ancestor, G. officinalis (known as Professor Weed in the USA) is a Class A Federal Noxious Weed in 35 states of America, and appears on the database of poisonous plants.32, 33 It is perhaps apt to conclude with a quote from the Swiss born physician Theopharastus Bombastus von Hohenhein (1493–1541), better known as Paracelsus: ‘The right dose differentiates a poison from a useful medicine’.

Peri-urban canine goes bush

From The Land newspaper: http://www.theland.com.au/story/4665960/wild-dog-on-a-record-run/?cs=4951    16 May 2017

Main sources: canid ecologist Dr Paul Meek (NSW DPI) and Local Land Services officer Mark Robinson. North Coast, NSW

Discussion on anti-and pro-meat positions


Privacy awareness

Good info, and brief: https://blog.fastmail.com/2017/05/16/PrivacyAwarenessWeek/

Psychology of passwords


Who has your back?


Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, JS!


SL, Armidale     2017-05-24