1 National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Section for Bacteriology, Pathology and Parasitology, National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 University of Copenhagen
Worldwide, livestock is produced and managed very differently, reflecting climatic, topographical, cultural and economical differences between regions. Even within regions, a diverse range of systems exists due to different availability of resources, local conditions, and farmers’ attitudes. Several on-farm surveys have indicated that, despite large farm-to-farm variation, levels and diversity of parasite infections may reflect differences in production systems. In developed countries, organic farming (OF) as a certified livestock production system with a given set of standards, has gained momentum in several livestock species, mainly ruminants, poultry and pigs. The changes in management which need to be implemented in order to get the OF status, vary with species and local conditions. For example, conventional pig production is highly intensive and indoors in NW Europe, whereas OF practices include outdoor production with associated higher risks of parasites. In dairy cattle production, changes are less dramatic and mostly related to self-sufficiency with feedstuffs and increased use of grazing. But in all cases, there is a reduced reliance on external input, including restrictions on use of parasiticides and often also an accompanying change in the mindset of farmers, e.g. attitudes in relation to intervention thresholds. These major changes may potentially result in re-emergence (or emergence) of parasite problems. In many developing countries certified OF production is uncommon in the livestock sector but the local farming systems may represent the ‘hidden world of OF’ (Parrott et al., 2005) e.g. as low input sustainable agriculture based on local resources and processes and traditional farming (food grown without chemicals or organic by default). Some of the problems and perhaps also some of the solutions in these systems are parallel to challenges related to organic livestock production in developed countries. This paper will consider how parasitological research may bridge the systems and cross-fertilize one another, and so far there are several good examples, e.g. the extensive work done on diets, bioactive plants, selective breeding and pasture management. For this purpose we need better tools to overall characterize farms with regard to parasites, to determine the need for interventions, and to evaluate the effectiveness of a range of alternative approaches on-farm.
7th Novel Approaches To the Control of Helminths of Livestock: Bridges Between Scientific Advances and Farm Development, 2013
Livestock; Production systems; Organic farming; Epidemiology
Main Research Area:
7th Novel Approaches to the Control of Helminths of Livestock (CAPARA 2013)