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Liver fluke risk high in northern regions of UK despite cold snap

A high liver fluke risk is predicted in Scotland, North West England and North Wales, with a moderate risk in Northern Ireland and low risk elsewhere.

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This is according to the latest National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) forecast for 2019, which is based on Met Office data and updated monthly via an online interactive map.

 

The final fluke forecast for autumn 2019 is based on temperature and rainfall from May to October.

 

It states that risk remains high in some areas due to very high levels of rainfall and above average temperatures observed in some regions in previous months, which means development and emergence of fluke during this period is likely to have been substantial.

 

So, although the drop in temperatures experienced across the UK in October and into November means it is unlikely that significant development of liver fluke and its intermediate snail host will take place now, farmers with livestock grazing in high and medium risk areas are advised to remain vigilant.

 


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Dr John Graham-Brown, of Liverpool University, says: “While the autumn fluke forecast is predicting low risk in some parts of the UK, it should be noted that where rainfall and temperature has been above the regional average fluke risk is likely to be higher than usual, even if this risk is not considered ‘high’ compared to other parts of the UK.

 

“Local conditions are also very important to consider when determining on-farm fluke risk.

 

“Farms with permanently wet pastures or permanent water bodies where mud snails may reside are likely to be at increased risk from liver fluke.

 

“This particularly applies to farms with a previous history of fluke infection. If in doubt, veterinary advice should be sought.”

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