WormBoss worm control program


Program Summary

The WormBoss worm control program for the pastoral region has five components that are effective when used in combination. Their effectiveness is reduced when not used in an integrated way.

A summary of the components is below (click on the headings below for more information):

1. Respond to unusual grazing conditions (caused by dry times, drought, floods, fire)

  • Move sheep from areas where they have congregated as soon as possible and WormTest the mob.

2. Breed and feed for worm-resistant sheep

  • Consider including the trait of worm resistance when choosing rams.
  • Maintain sheep above fat or condition score 2 at all times.

3. WormTest at recommended times or situations

  • Sheep that are showing signs that suggest a worm infection.
  • Prior to weaning lambs (or at 4–6 months old if a set weaning does not occur).
  • Before mustering for management events (shearing, crutching etc.).
  • 6 weeks after rain that has resulted in a green pick of annual grasses and herbage.
  • 6 weeks after sheep have been congregating on small areas.
  • Each 2–3 months for sheep grazing along bore drains (especially where leakages occur) or irrigation channels with little other paddock feed.

4. Drench1 only at recommended times

  • Drench all introduced sheep with a combination of no less than 4 unrelated drench actives with at least one of these being the newest drench actives: monepantel (Zolvix®) or derquantel (with abamectin—Startect®)2.
  • At other times, use the Drench Decision Guide to make drenching decisions.

5. Manage drench resistance

  • Conduct DrenchTests every 2–3 years. Use DrenchCheck-Day10s between DrenchTests.
  • Avoid unnecessary drenching.
  • Use effective drenches and multi-active2 combinations where possible (those shown to be highly effective on your property).
  • In general, use short-acting treatments and restrict the use of long-acting products only for specific purposes or high worm-risk times.
  • Calibrate your drench guns, dose to the heaviest sheep and follow label instructions.

1Drench refers to anthelmintics regardless of route of administration.
2Drench groups are the chemical family to which an ‘active’ belongs. An ‘active’ is the chemical in a drench responsible for killing worms. Some drenches contain more than one active and are called ‘multi-active’ or ‘combination’ drenches. See Drench groups and actives.

This is an up-to-date, integrated regional worm control program for sheep in the pastoral regions of Australia. It particularly builds upon earlier programs including joint ventures by state departments of primary industries, district veterinarians from the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities NSW, CSIRO, and universities.

 The program aims to improve the profitability and welfare of your sheep through:

  • fewer deaths and illness from worms
  • fewer drenches
  • improved productivity
  • prolonged life of drenches


Deborah Maxwell (Sheep CRC), Stephen Love (NSW DPI), Maxine Lyndal-­Murphy (Qld DAFF), with contributions from John Larsen (University of Melbourne Mackinnon Project), Greg Curran (NSW DPI), Dan Salmon (Riverina LHPA) and Noel O’Dempsey.

The Sheep CRC wishes to acknowledge the contribution of the parasitologists, veterinary officers, extension officers, consultants and organisations that developed the original programs from which the WormBoss programs have been drawn, including:

  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (and FarWestWorm)
  • Qld Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (and WormBuster)
  • Livestock Health and Pest Authorities, NSW (formerly Rural Lands/Pastures Protection Boards)
  • The Mackinnon Project (University of Melbourne School of Veterinary Science)
  • Department of Primary Industries Victoria
  • South Australian Research and Development Institute
  • CSIRO Division of Animal Health
  • Australian Wool Innovation
  • Meat and Livestock Australia

August 2012

Each regional ‘WormBoss worm control program’ has been developed from local research results and experience proven to be relevant and successful for most farms in the region. Sheep CRC acknowledge that this is not the only method of worm control in the region and more refined programs can be developed in consultation with your worm management advisor/veterinarian using information and knowledge specific to your property and sheep.

Future events cannot reliably be predicted accurately. Sheep CRC makes no statement, representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of, and you should not rely on any information relating to the ‘WormBoss worm control program’ (‘Information’). The Sheep CRC disclaims all responsibility for the Information and all liability (including without limitation liability and negligence) for all expenses, costs, losses and damages you may incur as a result of the Information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

No part of this publication is to be reproduced without the permission of Sheep CRC Ltd.

© Sheep CRC Ltd 2012 (ABN: 12 125 726 847)

Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement