Parasite Monitoring Project Introduction

Internal parasites are one of the most common and important diseases that livestock farmers have to deal with on a daily basis. The Parasite Monitoring Project will be monitoring parasite burdens on 10 focus farms throughout Wales and reporting the findings to help other farmers to understand better how to manage worm burden and hopefully avoid resistance.

The project will focus on the gastro internal parasites (roundworms) and regular faecal egg counts will be used to monitor worm burdens in both sheep and cattle.  As well as reporting on the burdens found through the season, the project will also report on any changes to worm control on farms such as timings and choice of wormer treatments.

Each of the farms will receive bespoke consultancy to implement the latest advice and recommendations from the SCOPS ( and COWS ( initiatives so that other farmers can learn from their experiences. Where possible each farm will test for wormer resistance / efficacy and this will enable our focus farmers to manage situations where multiple resistance is present.

It has been widely reported that resistance in wormers used for sheep is now widespread. The findings from HCC’s WAARD project in 2015 showed 60% of study farms had failures at some levels to all three of the common wormer groups (1BZ, 2LV, 3ML). (see full report on

Despite good success in raising awareness, there has been a lack of real changes to on farm practices with majority of farmers not regularly monitoring egg counts and most do not know their wormer resistance status. This project will see if using technology to make FEC testing more accessible and easier can help buck this trend.


Project Detail:-

  • The project will initially run for a 6-month period between March 2019 and September 2019 and will be managed by Techion.
  • For the initial 6-month period, 10 farms geographically spread through Wales will be used. The farms chosen will be from the existing Farming Connect demonstration network sites.
  • Techion will liaise with the farm’s own vet to ensure we are in line with the bespoke veterinary advice and health plans.
  • The FECPAKG2 platform will be the testing platform as it automatically collates animal and FEC information online meaning:
    • Information used in any KT is in real time and there are no delays due to data recording.
    • The results can be setup to be automatically copied to the farms vet and any other researchers / technical officers if they wish.
  • Testing for anthelmintic resistance / efficacy will be done using protocols which adhere to SCOPS guidelines. A robust test using pre and post mob tests on a small group of animals will be done. Farm technicians will carry out the treatment and sampling at day 1 of the test and leave the participating farmers with clear instructions on how to collect post treatment samples.
  • Each farm will receive 2 days’ worth of technical advice.
  • The project will look at parasite control in both sheep and cattle where applicable.

The challenges

  • Parasites significantly limit animal production / profitability
  • Parasites lower immunity and affect overall animal health
  • Poor realisation of increasing resistance to actives (treatment failure)
  • Poor management poses risks to supply chain integrity and future market access for livestock farms

Project progress to date

  • A total of 10 farms have been successfully recruited and are listed below.
  • 3 farms will focus primarily on parasite control in cattle, while the other 7 will focus on sheep.
  • One farm (David Lewis) has been set up with the FECPAKG2 system and others are submitting samples to the Techion lab while waiting for system setup before the end of April (post lambing or cattle turnout).

List of Participating Farms

Farmer Name

Farm name

Address 1


Primary Focus

John a Ianto Pari

Fferm Carreg Plas




David Lewis

Halghton Hall

Bangor on Dee



James Powell


Llanbadarn Fynydd



David Jones

Hardwick Farm



Cattle (Dairy Heifers)

Irwel Jones





Glyn Davies





Rhodri Lloyd-Williams





Gareth Thomas


Cemaes Bay



Hywel Davies

Celyn Mawr




Nicola Drew

College Farm