Drug resistant parasites cost European livestock industry millions each year

Drug resistant parasites cost European livestock industry millions each year
Credit: European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)

An international research study has estimated that drug-resistant parasitic worms cost the European livestock industry more than €38 million per year in production losses and veterinary costs.

Parasites can cause major welfare and productivity problems in cattle, sheep and goats worldwide, affecting growth, fertility and milk production. Worryingly, drug resistance is increasing against the veterinary medicines widely used to treat and prevent infection. This means that current farming methods may not be sustainable in the longer term.

Now a major new study has estimated that cost the European livestock industry more than €1.8 billion per year, with drug-resistance costing at least €38 million per year in production losses and treatment . The study can support the identification of livestock sectors and regions where the largest losses occur and inform control programs and research policies at national and European level.

Agricultural economic data was combined with the latest data on the levels of disease and drug-resistance in 18 European countries. Data were not available for all European countries and only one class of veterinary medicine was included in the analyses. There are five classes of veterinary medicine available to treat parasitic worms in livestock, and is widespread against at least three of these classes. This means that the costs are likely to be higher than the conservative estimates reported in the study.

The study was led by Dr. Johannes Charlier of the Belgian scientific consultancy Kreavet, as part of a European Cooperation in Science & Technology COST Action, COMBAR (Combatting Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants). It involved a total of 23 organizations who brought together regional expertise and the latest data on the economic impacts of parasitic disease in the European livestock industry.


Explore further

Controlling parasitic worms with genetic selection

More information: J. Charlier et al. Initial assessment of the economic burden of major parasitic helminth infections to the ruminant livestock industry in Europe, Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105103
Provided by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Citation: Drug resistant parasites cost European livestock industry millions each year (2020, July 31) retrieved 14 August 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-07-drug-resistant-parasites-european-livestock.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
11 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments