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In the absence of sensitive, rapid and accurate diagnostic tests for the presence of parasites in individual sheep, introduced sheep are potential sources of multiple anthelmintic-resistant nematodes and psoroptic mange (sheep scab) mites, Psoroptes ovis (Sargison 2011, Burgess and others 2012). Current UK guidelines recommend treatment of all introduced sheep with an effective anthelmintic and, if there is a risk that they may harbour scab mites, additional treatment with an appropriate acaricide on arrival at the farm (Abbott and others 2012). The need for such quarantine treatments applies equally to all introduced animals, including purchased sheep and sheep returning from grazing areas away from the main farm (Sargison 2011).
A dual active formulation of derquantel (DQL) and abamectin (ABA) (STARTECT Dual Active Oral Solution for Sheep, Zoetis; DQL+ABA) was recently authorised in the UK and Ireland for the treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep including strains resistant to benzimidazole, levamisole and macrocyclic lactone (ML) anthelmintics (Geurden and others 2012). As such, a single oral dose of DQL+ABA provides an effective quarantine treatment to prevent the importation of anthelmintic-resistant nematodes (Abbott and others 2012). A single dose of a long-acting (LA) injectable formulation of moxidectin (MOX) (CYDECTIN 2 per cent …