Equine Parasite Control
This project aims to promote the use of various methods of detecting parasite burdens in horses and reduce resistance of parasites in the equine population in Northern Ireland. A targeted worming approach in which anthelmintics are only used when the presence of parasites are confirmed helps to prevent overuse of the active ingredients.
A faecal worm egg count (FWEC) is a test that is carried out to see how many parasite eggs are present in a sample of a horse’s faeces to identify horses with high parasite burdens. Horses with a FWEC of more than 200epg (eggs per gram of faeces) should be treated with appropriate anthelmintics. Those with lower FWECs do not require treatment, preventing the unnecessary and ineffective use of anthelmintics.
The test for tapeworm in horses measures antibodies in saliva which are specific to tapeworm. If a horse has a borderline or moderate/high burden, then it is recommended that the horse is treated with an appropriate anthelmintic.
The project promotes the use of FWEC’s and the equine saliva Tapeworm test to horse owners and the adoption of a targeted parasite management programme. Project participants submit their results to CAFRE on a quarterly basis via an online form. This information will develop an understanding of the equine parasite burden in Northern Ireland.