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Bioactive forage and phytotherapy to cure and control endo-parasite diseases in sheep and goat farming systems – a review of current scientific knowledge

By Gerold Rahmann and Hannah Seip


Infestation with gastro-intestinal nematodes (GIN) in small ruminants can cause severe economic losses and endanger animal welfare. The development of organic farming systems, the increased public awareness for drug residues in agricultural products and the development of resistant strains of parasites have enforced the search for sustainable alternatives.\ud \ud The aim of this review is to summarise the current scientific knowledge of alternative strategies to prevent and control endo-parasitic diseases in organic sheep and goat farming systems. The conducted literature evaluation has revealed the major potential to be within the field of bioactive forages, phytotherapy, homeopathy and copper-oxide wire particles.\ud \ud Alternative management pattern like grazing management, nematophagous fungi, improved fodder and breeding are not considered.\ud \ud The administration and cultivation of bioactive forages and phytotherapy are displaying promise potential for endo-parasite control in organic sheep and goat farming. Scientific\ud research has mainly concentrated on the extracts of the plant species chicory, Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia), Sulla (Hedysarum coronarium) and Quebracho (Schinopsis ssp.). \ud \ud The analysis of these plants showed all plants to have some positive potential, but also highlighted individual limitations in application. However from the results of this literature review none of the investigated plants have been researched sufficiently in on farm experiments to recommend any for implementation at this stage.\ud \ud No concrete recommendation for a single plant can be given, further research on promising species for the commercial use is strongly recommended, as is the review of the law concerning the appliance of plant based remedies

Topics: Sheep and goats, Health and welfare, Feeding and growth
Publisher: Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Organic Eprints

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