The efficacy of a morantel sustained release bolus to control ostertagiasis in grazing calves was assessed. Administration of the bolus into the rumen of calves immediately before turnout on to spring pasture in May substantially reduced the level of pasture contamination with infective larvae later in the season. Compared with controls there was a 71 per cent reduction in worm burdens acquired over the entire grazing season with a mean improvement in weight gain of 24 kg. When administration was delayed until midsummer (July) a good anthelmintic effect was obtained but there was little reduction in pasture contamination levels. Worm burdens acquired over the grazing season were reduced by only 48 per cent with a mean weight gain advantage of only 9 kg compared with controls. The control obtained against Dictyocaulus viviparus by both treatments was not absolute, failing to prevent the development of mild parasitic bronchitis.
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