In a two-year trial involving successive batches of 36 autumn-born steers on two adjacent sites in Hertfordshire, calves treated with ivermectin at three and eight weeks after turn out contaminated pastures much less than untreated control animals. Each year dry summers prevented the larval challenge on the control pastures from building up to high levels until about the time of autumn housing. Atypical outbreaks of parasitic gastroenteritis were recorded in May and June of the second year in both groups of control calves. Clinical and parasitological aspects of these outbreaks are discussed in the context of the epidemiology of the disease. It is concluded that the application of measures to control gastroenteritis can bring benefits in the early part of the grazing season as well as later in the year.
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