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Guidelines for treatment of lice in sheep with long wool based on a model of the development of wool damage


Lucas, PG and Horton, BJ, Guidelines for treatment of lice in sheep with long wool based on a model of the development of wool damage, Australian Veterinary Journal, 92, (1-2) pp. 8-14. ISSN 0005-0423 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australian Veterinary Association

DOI: doi:10.1111/avj.12138


Objective: This study used a model of the development of wool damage caused by lice in long wool to examine the conditions under which treatment of the sheep is advisable on an economic basis.

Methods: The model uses the proportion of a flock showing visible signs of rubbing and the number of days until the next shearing to compare the cost of treatment (product plus labour) with production losses because of the reduction in wool value caused by lice. From the model output, guidelines are provided to inform producers of the most cost-effective option for lice control.

Results: Under normal conditions, if there are any signs of rubbing ≥140 days before shearing, then treatment was the best option. If signs of wool damage are not observed until there are ≤70 days before shearing, then the most cost-effective option is to not treat at all. Between these two periods, the time period in which not treating is the most cost-effective option decreases as the number of sheep visibly affected by lice increases. At higher wool values (A$70/head vs A$35), the option to treat is brought forward approximately 25 days, whereas at a low wool value (A$17.50/head) the period in which no treatment is the most cost-effective is extended by approximately 25 days. Treating only the visibly affected sheep is the best option only for a very short time for all wool values and treatment costs.

Conclusion: The model provides guidelines for control of lice in long wool to minimise the net cost of infestation and limit unnecessary pesticide use.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:control programs, lice, modelling, pesticides, sheep, wool damage
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Animal production
Research Field:Animal protection (incl. pests and pathogens)
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock raising
Objective Field:Sheep for wool
UTAS Author:Lucas, PG (Miss Peri Lucas)
UTAS Author:Horton, BJ (Dr Brian Horton)
ID Code:85305
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2013-06-26
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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