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Editorial
Epidemiology of parasitic gastroenteritis in beef suckler herds
  1. Andrew B. Forbes, BVM&S, PhD, CBiol, MSB, DipEVPC, MRCVS1 and
  2. Kathryn A. Ellis, BVMS, CertCHP, PhD, DipECBHM, MRCVS2
  1. 1Merial, 29 avenue Tony Garnier, Lyon 69007, France e-mail: andy.forbes@merial.com
  2. 2Scottish Centre for Production Animal Health and Food Safety, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK
  1. e-mail: kathryn.ellis{at}glasgow.ac.uk

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The supply and use of veterinary anthelmintic and flukicide products in production animals is currently under scrutiny, in view of the concerns about the development of anthelmintic and flukicide resistance. A recent position statement from the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE 2013) makes several recommendations to contain resistance, including that all anthelmintic products for food-producing animals should only be available via a veterinary prescription, such that their use is conditional on appropriate veterinary advice; that veterinarians have a role in promoting responsible use of anthelmintics; and that veterinarians and farmers need to work out integrated worm control programmes based on targeted strategic treatments rather than mass treatments.

While the rationale behind these recommendations could be questioned, the subject of responsible use of anthelmintics is important and serves to emphasise that veterinarians working with food-producing species must have a sound knowledge of both product availability and specifications, and of scientific developments in veterinary parasitology, in order that their advice is current and evidence based. Beef production, especially suckler beef production, has not received as much attention as dairy production with respect to nematode control, but it is an area where animal health and welfare and productivity are equally important.

Systems of beef production that are based on spring-calving herds can be …

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