29 Oct 2014

Sector coping better with parasite - vet

7:16 am on 29 October 2014

A Franklin district veterinarian says after nearly two years of dealing with the parasite theileria ikeda, which makes cattle severely anaemic, the agricultural sector is much better at managing it.

Mark Hosking is the managing director at Franklin Vets and says that as vets and farmers have got more used to identifying and treating the blood-borne parasite - they've managed to reduce the mortality rate among cattle.

Latest government figures show that 970 dairy and beef herds have now been affected by the parasite that was first detected in Northland in 2012.

Mr Hosking says theileria ikeda is having less of an impact now than it was a year ago.

"We've learnt a lot over a couple of years in terms of how to handle it, the disease, at a herd level, in terms of reducing the stresses, the treatment options, the use of blood transfusions in cattle and those types of things. So we're a lot better equipped with knowledge and our techniques."

However, he says farmers need to be vigilant and if they have any concerns about their livestock they need to speak to their vet and get a plan in place.

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