Shetland Monitor Farm Meeting to Focus on Fighting Fluke in Livestock

The Budges Bigton Shetland Monitor Farm

The next Shetland monitor farm meeting on Saturday 17 August will focus on fighting fluke in livestock.

The meeting will start at Bigton Farm at 11:00am where key speaker Dr Philip Skuce from Moredun Research Institute will address the meeting on sustainable fluke control in Shetland.

Dr Skuce has a PhD in Parasitology and is a Principal Scientist at Moredun with research interests in the diagnosis and control of parasitic diseases in livestock, specifically roundworm and fluke infections and the detection and management of anthelmintic resistance. Dr Skuce sits on the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) working group and is the Knowledge Exchange Sector Lead for livestock within the Scottish Environment Food and Agriculture Research Institute.

‘’I am really looking forward to my first trip to Shetland and hearing farmers’ experiences with fluke first-hand. Fluke risk is a function of local geology, climatic conditions and farm management practices, some of which will be common to most sheep farms in Scotland, others will be unique to Shetland. I’m keen to explore local conditions and discuss best practice advice around sustainable fluke control,” said Dr Skuce.

Monitor farmers Kirsty and Aimee Budge, who farm at Bigton, are looking forward to welcoming the speakers and group back to the farm.

“We are really grateful that Dr Philip Skuce is travelling to Shetland to speak to the meeting about fluke as it’s something we have identified as a problem at Bigton, causing reduced performance in both our sheep and cattle enterprises” said Kirsty Budge.

“We, like lots of other farmers on Shetland, are keen to learn how best to control parasitic diseases in livestock. We’ve got three fantastic speakers for the meeting with Derek Hanton from SAC Consulting updating the meeting about the farm audit as well as calving and lambing figures, and Jim Tait from Shetland Vets will be presenting to the group on keds and lice.”

At the meeting on 17 August, Kirsty and Aimee Budge will also update the group on developments at Bigton including the barley trial plots and the grazing season.

The Shetland Monitor Farm is one of nine monitor farms that have been established around Scotland in a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. The aim of the programme, which is funded by Scottish Government, is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

The meeting on Saturday 17 August, which is free to attend, and will begin at 11:00am with an aim to finish with a BBQ by 3:00pm.

To book your attendance (and lunch) please contact Graham Fraser, SAC Consulting Lerwick on 01595 693520 or email frbslerwick@sac.co.uk