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Worm control in organic production systems for small ruminants in Europe: towards the implementation of non-chemical, sustainable approaches *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-01843
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,928,778 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,750,908 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Animal Systems

Abstract:
Nematode parasitic infections constitute a serious health and welfare problem of sheep and goats in organic farming systems. Research will focus on the following non-chemical strategies for the control of these infections: Use of bioactive plants, particularly forages with a high content of condensed tannins. Biological control with the nematode-destroying fungus Duddingtonia flagrans. Grazing management procedures, particularly evasive grazing based on new knowledge of the survival of nematode stages on pasture. Recommendations for the use of these strategies alone or in combination in sheep and goats will be developed and disseminated. Although primarily aimed at organic farming, guidelines will be equally applicable in conventional farms as a new, sustainable approach to parasite control.

Objectives:
1. To evaluate the potential benefits of bioactive plants or forages in mitigating the effects of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats in organic production.
2. To investigate the potential of biological control of nematode parasites of sheep and goats by means of the nematode-destroying fungus Duddingtonia flagrans.
3. To collect the necessary base-line data on the population dynamics of the free-living stages of nematodes of sheep and goats and to use these data for the design and evaluation of grazing management strategies for control.
4. To perform field evaluation of parasite control strategies combining the elements mentioned above: bioactive forages, biological control and grazing management.
5. To develop and provide recommendations for the use of non-chemical, sustainable parasite control measures in organic (or conventional) production of sheep and goats in Europe.


Coordinator
Stig Milan THAMSBORG
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Department of animal science and animal health
Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen
DENMARK
Tel.: +45 35283028
Fax: +45 35283055
E-mail: smt@kvl.dk


Partners
  Daniel BARBACE
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Toulouse
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 5 61285230
Fax: +33 5 61285280
  Michael SMITH
Scottish Agricultural College, Animal biology division
Penicuik
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1315354074
Fax: +44 1315354183
E-mail: M.L.Smith@ed.sac.ac.uk
  Quintin MCKELLAR
Moredun Research Institute, Parasitology Division
Penicuik
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 314455111
Fax: +44 1314456111
E-mail: mMckeq@mri.sari.ac.uk
  Lars-Erik EDQVIST
Department of parasitology
Uppsala
SWEDEN
Tel.: +46 18674000
Fax: +46 18309162
E-mail: Lars-Erik.Edqvist@sva.se
  Erik TIMMERMANS
Departement of infectious diseases and immunology, division of parasitology and tropical veterinary medicine
Utrecht
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 302534376
Fax: +31 30253540784
E-mail: r.timmermans@vet.uu.nl
  Jose Luis ALONSO
Diputación General de Aragón - Servicio de Investigación Agraria
Zaragoza
SPAIN
Tel.: +34 976714636
Fax: +34 976714677
E-mail: jlalonso@aragob.es
  Kirsten BRANDT
Danish institute of agricultural sciences, Departement of horticulture
Aarslev
DENMARK
Tel.: +45 63904244
Fax: +45 63904395
E-mail: kirsten.brandt@agrsci.dk