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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Treatment against helminths in Norwegian sheep: a questionnaire-based survey

Gravdal, Maiken; Robertson, Lucy J.; Tysnes, Kristoffer R.; Hoglund, Johan; Chartier, Christophe; Stuen, Snorre


A questionnaire was distributed to 5487 farmers throughout Norway in order to obtain information about management practices regarding helminth infections in sheep. In addition, the farmers' perceptions of helminths and anthelmintic efficacy were investigated. Most farmers (80%) treated prophylactically against nematodes, and 24% also used prophylactic treatment against Fasciola hepatica. Overall, few farmers (11%) used parasitological analysis as a tool to assess the timing of treatment, but rather based it on other factors such as previous experience (70%). In the surveyed sheep flocks, the use of benzimidazoles was reduced from 2018 (52%) to 2019 (47%) (p < 0.01), whereas the use of macrocyclic lactones increased from 2017 (23%) to 2019 (36%) (p < 0.001). Poor anthelmintic efficacy was suspected by 10% of the farmers, and 11% reported that helminths were an increasing problem in their flocks. The majority of farmers (72%) considered their veterinarian as the most important advisor for treatment of parasites, but reported a high level of uncertainty regarding which parasites were present in their flocks, with unknown status most frequently reported for Haemonchus contortus (71.5%). This is probably related to the fact that very few farmers (15%) regularly test their animals for parasites. The present study provides up-to-date information on treatment practices for helminths in Norwegian sheep flocks.


Anthelmintic resistance; Sheep; Questionnaire survey; Parasite control; Liver fluke; Gastrointestinal nematodes

Published in

2021, Volume: 28, article number: 63

    Associated SLU-program

    AMR: Parasite

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

    Publication identifier


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