Wormer resistance is a serious threat to horse health and one that impacts the entire equestrian community. Most equestrian properties will already have some level of wormer resistance which means we can no longer simply give a wormer and expect it to work. Experts advise that on our current trajectory, it will only be a few short years until we have multi-resistant parasite strains on our grazing. There are no new chemicals in development.
By its nature, resistance brings with it increasing amounts of untreatable parasitic disease and death in our horses. On affected pasture that harbours resistant parasites, the only way to keep burdens low enough to manage the risk of parasitic disease will be to vastly reduce stocking densities. This in turn will impact the economic viability of many of our equine businesses. The message is clear; if we carry on as we are, wormer resistance has the ability to change the landscape of our industry and seriously impact the way we keep horses.
WE ALL NEED TO COMMIT TO THREE
If we are going to do anything to change this picture we have to act now! By adopting simple changes to our parasite control measures we can have a big impact on slowing the development of resistance. This will buy us time to find solutions and help us to safeguard the future of our horse’s health and our industry.
- Risk assess and make a parasite control plan with our prescriber
- Test before treating
- Commit to poo picking and better management
Each of us has a part to play in combatting the threat of wormer resistance. Click on the links below to read more about what you can do to become an advocate for best practice and to promote change. We will only solve this problem if, collectively, we take steps to minimise chemical exposure to wormers whilst also safeguarding horse health by testing at regular intervals with worm egg counts, tapeworm testing and the small redworm blood test.