Farm Innovation Visits Application Form -Use of blood testing & fluke egg detection to target fluke treatments & reduce resistance on Scottish sheep farms

Closed 5 Aug 2022

Opened 22 Jul 2022


The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is offering sheep  farmers the opportunity to travel to Isle of Islay, Scotland to learn about trial work currently being carried out on sheep farms with regards to fluke detection and targetted treatments.   These farms are practicing a targetted array of testing each Autumn which includes blood testing first grazing youngstock in the flock to identify when the fluke challenge begins on each trial farm, followed by the use of copro-antigen testing and fluke egg detection to work out when treatments are required. The trial has also used efficacy checks to monitor for triclabendazole resistance on farms.


Faecal egg counting (FEC) has become more popular as routine husbandry in NI sheep flocks in recent years, with test results used mainly to determine the requirement for worm and fluke treatments. The trial outlined above has taken this practise to a more in depth level which allows farmers to identify when the fluke challenge begins on farm each year, using young stock which have never been exposed to fluke previously in their lives, potentially delaying the need for fluke dosing in the earlier autumn months and allowing for greater efficiency in the autumn flock management. The subsequent copro-antigen and fluke detection tests allow farmers to identify the point at which the sheep flock has ingested fluke and the cycle has begun and allows for targeted treatment, all of which lends itself to responsible use of anthelmintics and helps to reduce the issue of triclabendazole resistance on farms which is becoming more frequent.


The tour will include visits to 4 sheep farms over two days.  It is proposed to travel by boat from Ballycastle to Port Ellen, Islay as travel by plane and road is not time feasible.  The first day will be spent with two of the Islay trials farms participating in the fluke trial, Cornabus Farm and an RSPB upland farm, this day also includes a tour of the local Ardbeg whiskey distillery. The second day will be spent with two large scale sheep flocks, including a visit to the Islay Estate farm before returning home to Ballycastle that evening. A feedback and discussion session will take place over dinner on the first evening.


  • Pre-Visit Training Event

    From 23 Aug 2022 at 19:30 to 23 Aug 2022 at 22:30

    If you accept this offer, you will be expected to participate in a pre-visit training event delivered by CAFRE staff on Tuesday 23rd August at the Royal Hotel, 64-72 Old Coagh Road Cookstown BT80 8NG


  • All stakeholders


  • Inspection