A study of anthelmintic treatments received by 40,000 cattle during 1978 on a random sample of 240 farms in England and Wales showed that most were given against gastrointestinal nematodes for purposes of prophylaxis. Analysis of the data indicates that of an estimated pounds 15m spent on anthelmintics and their administration, most was far less effectively employed than it might have been. Errors of three kinds were common, some classes of cattle being dosed unnecessarily, animals being dosed at an unfavourable occasion or time of year, and anthelmintics being directed at parasites against which they had no action. Existing knowledge on the control of helminths is not effectively used; most dosing was done without advice from an identifiable source.
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