As spring approaches so does the threat of blowfly strike, leaving farms across the country vulnerable and at risk.

A National Farm Research Unit study showed that only 51 percent of farms have incorporated preventative treatment earlier in the year to guard against strike one, leaving almost half exposed.

To combat this issue, a continued collaboration between Elanco Animal Health and National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) will bring sheep farmers real time updates on blowfly risk and reported strike cases with expert advice to help alert farmers, vets and industry professionals.

The trackers will include forecast and reported blowfly strike cases. The NADIS Blowfly Alert will be put together with information from Professor Richard Wall of the University of Bristol, based on a detailed weather-driven simulation model and will provide a regular blowfly-risk forecast outlining the challenge facing sheep across the different UK regions.

Richard said: “Our blowfly forecast model is built on many years of detailed research so it’s great to now be able to use it to predict the seasonal change in strike risk and to give farmers advance warning in a way that helps with their blowfly preparations".

The timing and severity of blowfly strike is strongly influenced by the weather. Spring temperatures are more variable and harder to predict, making it difficult to determine when to treat.

Kate Heller, Technical Vet at Elanco said: “delaying preventative treatment not only costs the farm but risks the welfare and productivity of the flock.

“The costs of inaction when it comes to blowfly strike far outweigh the costs of protection. Farms need to take control — and take control early — by using a preventative product with full fleece protection”.

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