Prepare now or risk strike, sheep farmers warned
A local sheep farmer, based near Milton Keynes, has reported the first incidence of blowfly strike in the region, warning other farmers that the parasite season is already threatening flocks in the area.
Blowfly strike is one of the most unpleasant yet familiar annual problems that sheep farmers need to deal with. It is caused by the infestation of sheep by fly maggots which feed directly on the skin of affected animals, causing serious distress and welfare problems and in some cases death. In the UK, blowfly strike occurs on over 80 per cent of sheep farms. Experts have warned farmers that prevention is better than cure because once a strike has happened sheep can die very quickly.
Three golden rules for farmers to ensure best practice advice when it comes to blowfly strike are:
1) Prepare – arm yourself with the facts and put in place a parasite protection plan;
2) Predict – know the triggers that are most relevant to your flock;
3) Prevent – the key to good seasonal blowfly management is to plan ahead and act early.