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Control of warble fly in Great Britain and the European Community
  1. GW Wilson


The costs of warble fly in cattle have been estimated at 35 million pounds for Great Britain in 1985 and $85 million for Italy in 1982. Control measures within the European Community vary from one country to another and from the voluntary application of systemic products by individual farmers to comprehensive national eradication schemes backed by legislation. Of the countries opting for national eradication measures, Denmark has been successful and the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain have reduced the incidence of the disease to very low levels. In Great Britain in 1978, 38 per cent of cattle were found to be affected in a survey of selected fatstock markets by the Meat and Livestock Commission. In 1985 the incidence had fallen to 0.01 per cent. Seven hundred and five affected herds were found in Great Britain when the disease was made notifiable in 1982, falling to 419 affected herds in 1985. Treatment of all cattle over 12 weeks old is required in affected herds. Since 1982 parts of Great Britain where the disease has persisted or where there is evidence of a recrudescence have been designated 'infected areas' in which all cattle over 12 weeks old have been required to be treated within specific dates. In addition to statutory measures the control measures in Great Britain include the inspection of cattle at auction markets and on farms. Work on the application to field conditions of an ELISA test is in progress, with encouraging results. It is considered that Great Britain is now well placed to eradicate warble fly.

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