ParaBoss News - December 2017 - State Outlooks

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Australia's resource for control of worms, flies and lice in sheep,
and worms in goats


The Quick Quiz

This quick quiz tests your knowledge of sheep and goat parasites and their control. 

1. In the winter rainfall and Mediterranean-climate regions, should young sheep routinely be given a first summer drench?

2. How long does the flystrike protection from Spinosad products last?

3. Are “hair breeds” of sheep and their crosses able to be infected by and spread lice?

4. Can goats be infected by sheep measles?

>> Check the answers.

State Outlooks for December 2017

Some intensive monitoring for worms and blowfly is on the agenda for most producers this festive season.

If you are in a barber’s pole region, you will find Bill Johnston’s account of how ‘set and forget’ drenching does not always constitute 'job done' and that at this time of the year there is the need for constant monitoring and urgent action if barber’s pole is detected. Sobering reading. Bill is the District Veterinary Officer at Goulburn, LLS NSW.

Happy Christmas and a great new year to all. We would particularly like to thank our contributors and participants who write the state outlooks and feature articles each month.

More news (below the State Outlooks)

  • Staff changes
  • ParaBoss Vacancy: Ruminant Parasitology Research Scientist 
  • Putting WormBoss into Practice project
Are hair breeds of sheep and their crosses able to be infected by and spread lice?
Clover circles are generally a lower worm-risk than pasture circles (source: Paul Nilon)

New South Wales
>> full report

A barber’s pole and fly alert is current, especially where summer storms occur.  Monitoring over the festive season is recommended.

>> full report

Monitor lambs every 3 weeks, as weaner and hogget worm egg counts are rising sharply in the post weaning period.

>> full report

There’s a barber’s pole and fly alert, as well as some insights on the value of doing your own worm counting.

Western Australia
>> full report

This is a really important time of the year for sheep. To achieve effective worm control over the coming year, worm burdens must be at the lowest possible level by mid-autumn.

>> full report

Watch and monitor weaners closely, particularly the Merinos, as summer rains often facilitate black scour worm in lambs soon after weaning. 

South Australia
>> full report

Most people will be planning to minimise flystrike risk at harvest time, but given the value of sheep and wool at the moment, a few timely worm egg counts now could be money very well spent.

Staff changes

by Deb Maxwell

We farewell our Executive Officer, Lewis Kahn, who has taken on an Associate Dean of Research role at UNE. Lewis has made an enormous contribution to ParaBoss since it was created in 2014 to take over the running of the Bosses post-Sheep CRC. He has also contributed so much to the redevelopment of WormBoss that was launched back in 2012 with the addition of regional control programs and Drench Decisison Guides. I have learned so much from him and will miss working with him. 
I have accepted the role of Executive Officer, and hope to continue the great work Lewis has done.
This leaves an opening for someone with parasite technical knowledge. We are currently advertising for a Research Scientist position (see below). If you know someone suitable who may be interested, please alert them to this vacancy.

Putting WormBoss into Practice

A new project funded by Australian Wool Innovation, sees two producer groups: Monaro Farming Systems (southern NSW) and ASHEEP (Esperance WA), assisting their members to conduct DrenchTests and WormTests over the next couple of years. The DrenchTests will particularly help to give a regional perspective on the efficacy of various drench groups, and in southern NSW, this will include triclabendazole against fluke.

Another AWI-funded project will carry out the DrenchTests. These will be done at the Dawbuts lab at Camden NSW to investigate the value of using a different technique—the MiniFlotac test—to see whether DrenchTests can be made more accurate and/or cheaper.

Vacancy: Ruminant Parasitology Research Scientist 

This Research Scientist role will contribute to the ParaBoss team and also develop a portfolio of ruminant livestock parasitology research. Both activities will contribute to improved parasite management of sheep, goats and/or cattle. 

The position will join an academic and technical team covering a range of disciplines with access to UNE SMART Farms, Cooperative Research Centres and Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit.

Advertisement link:  ParaBoss Parasite Research Scientist – employment opportunity

Requirement: PhD in livestock science or a similar related field, with at least 3 years post PhD experience in livestock parasitology and an excellent research record.

Applications close: 22 January 2018

Position Location: University of New England, Armidale NSW Australia

To discuss this role please contact Dr Deborah Maxwell: phone 02 6779 4262, 0437 524 163 or email 


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