FUW puts spotlight on Liver fluke

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is putting the spotlight on Liver fluke at next week’s NSA Welsh Sheep event, Tuesday May 19, held at Kerry, Newtown, to highlight the most recent research aiming to protect sheep from this parasite.

“Liver fluke disease costs the industry millions of pounds every year in lost productivity if left untreated and we are therefore pleased to be joined at the FUW stand by Dr Russ Morphew, lecturer in Biochemistry at Aberystwyth University, to answer any questions visitors to the event may have about current and future research into liver fluke vaccination,” said FUW animal health and welfare committee chairman Dr Catherine Nakielny.

The sheep industry sees around 10 – 12 percent of liver condemnations during peak periods, with approximately 27,735 livers affected in a 6 month period in Wales and liver fluke remains one of the most economically important parasitic diseases of farmed livestock.

Dr Morphew, whose current research aims to identify and evaluate methods of controlling liver fluke, rumen fluke and other ruminant parasites using modern functional genomics methodologies, obtained his PhD in 2007 from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences [IBERS], at Aberystwyth University.

Dr Morphew’s PhD focused on the interaction of agricultural parasites and their hosts, using modern molecular biology for the analysis of

“The economic impact of this disease on ewes can mean that live weight gain and multiple births are reduced by more than 10 percent, whilst lambs birth weight could be reduced by more than 5 percent and lamb weight gain can be reduced by up to 30 percent if left untreated. We would like to invite our members and visitors to the show to join us at our stand in Shed 1, stand 26 to discuss the potential ways forward for combating liver fluke and our policy team are also at hand to answer any other agri-policy questions you may have,” added Dr Nakielny.

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