The term 'anthelmintic drug resistance' describes the heritable ability of some nematode parasites to survive treatment with anthelmintic drugs at the recommended therapeutic dose levels. Genes for resistance appear to be present in many of the important pathogenic nematodes of ruminants and horses. Under intensive management systems, where heavy reliance is placed on anthelmintic drugs for worm control, the selection of resistant genotypes may result in increased reports of the drugs failing to control the nematode populations against which they are aimed. Anthelmintic resistance has been reported from many parts of the world, and in some countries multiple drug-resistant strains have emerged. In the UK, recent investigations indicate an increasing level of resistance to benzimidazoles among nematodes of sheep and horses. The incidence, diagnosis, epidemiology and implications of anthelmintic resistance are discussed.