ParaBoss WEC QA Program

The ParaBoss WEC QA Program for worm egg count (WEC) providers tests the accuracy of their work.

It will assist providers to maintain quality procedures and ParaBoss will endorse those delivering accurate services.

Inaccurate worm egg counts can result in producers missing the optimum drench time: too late and there will be lost productivity and animal welfare impacts; too early and drenching costs are not justified.

In the inaugural 2019 round of testing, 70% of participants were within the accepted limits, but 30% returned results that were too low, too high or too variable.

A list of WEC providers that successfully demonstrated the accuracy of their work is available on the WormBoss Professional Service Providers pages.

 The 2020 round is anticipated to occur in October 2020.

Due to COVID-19 related freight delays we are monitoring the freight situation and may need to cancel the 2020 program if we cannot be assured that the perishable faecal samples can be delivered on time.

The program will continue to be promoted in the ParaBoss News,
please subscribe to receive ongoing updates.

Further information: technical@paraboss.com.au

Do you provide a worm egg counting service, whether paid or complimentary?

WormBoss strongly recommends the use of worm testing, testing drench efficacy and breeding worm resistant stock, all which require worm egg counts.

ParaBoss receives numerous enquiries regarding WEC providers, but have no way of endorsing any providers. Providers have expressed their dismay that there is no scheme for them to demonstrate their proficiency.

ParaBoss WEC QA Program

  • The program will involve an annual "round robin" trial in October each year to assist WEC providers to check the quality of their testing and to receive assistance if required.
  • Providers who satisfy the testing QA program will be endorsed and promoted to sheep, goat and cattle producers nationally.
  • Supplementary rounds may also be run.

Who is this for?

  • For all laboratories, veterinarians, livestock merchandise/stock agents and individuals who do worm egg counts as a paid or complimentary service to others.
  • Any individuals who do their own worm egg counts and who wish to ensure they are achieving accurate results.
  • View the WormBoss Professional Service Providers pages

What is involved?

  • Once per year (planned for October), participants will take part on a "round-robin" trial—they will be sent a number of samples of knnown worm egg counts, on which they will conduct worm egg counts.
  • Participants provide their results back for analysis.
  • Participants with results within the accepted range will receive ParaBoss endorsement as a WEC provider.
  • Those whose results are outside the accepted range will have the opportunity to approach ParaBoss-endorsed laboratories or individuals to review their worm egg counting procedures, and be able to undertake a follow up assessment.

When will the testing occur?

  • The samples will generally be sent out in October each year. This coincides with our supply labortory having the sheep to supply samples (note field samples are not used).  The plan is for only one sample send out annually due to the large preparation and freighting logistics and high cost involved. See details below of how samples will be prepared. 

What will it cost?

2019 costs - shown below.

2020 costs are being assessed in light of actual costs in 2019, and potential freight cost changes, and will be advised when registrations open.

 

2019 charges

NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, QLD, NT

  • $350 for the first set of samples for a location.
  • $20 per person (where samples are freighted together). (First year heavily subsidised cost)

WA 

  • $300 for the first person. 
  • $20 for additional persons (where samples are freighted together). (First year heavily subsidised cost)

(WA cheaper due to lower freight costs)

For those who need follow up advice and/or further testing, this will be an additional cost.

See information below regarding how our samples will be prepared.

What are the benefits?

  • This is the only independent program in Australia to benchmark your WEC results and provide assistance and recognition.

THOSE WHO SATISFY THE QA REQUIREMENTS WILL :

  • Be "endorsed" by ParaBoss and WormBoss.
  • Receive a free listing on the WormBoss Service Providers page (all current listings for WEC providers will be removed when this program commences).
  • Ongoing promotion to sheep, goat, camelid and cattle producers (via ParaBoss News, WormBoss website, industry newsletters such as AWI Beyond the Bale and MLA Feedback and in the rural press).
  • Recommendation of endorsed providers in response to enquiries received by WormBoss.

Further information: technical@paraboss.com.au

Sample Preparation 

ParaBoss has been fortunate to gain the  expertise of the key players and laboratory that ran the previous program for some years.

  • The program is managed by Dr Brown Besier (now retired from DPIRD, WA)
  • The  Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, WA, (DPIRD WA) at Albany, managed by Jill Lyon, is the sample supply laboratory.
    This laboratory has a suitable supply of clean and worm-infected sheep at the time required, which greatly reduces the costs for participants. (These sheep are also used to prepare the Barbervax vaccine).
  • Statistician, Andrew Van Burgel (DPIRD WA) is the data analyst.

SAMPLES ARE NOT SIMPLY TAKEN FROM WORMY SHEEP AND SENT TO YOU.

Considerable analysis by eminent parasitologists originally determined a process to eliminate as much variation as possible.

  • The faecal component of the samples are taken from worm-free sheep.
  • The eggs are taken from sheep with a high worm burden, the eggs are then extracted from those samples to provide a purified solution of eggs. This is measured to assess the quantity of eggs per millilitre of solution.
  • Specific amounts of faeces and egg solution are then measured into sample containers.
  • 13 samples are prepared for each participant with various worm egg counts in them.

The samples are packed into eskies with ice bricks to keep the samples cool during the trip to each participant. The hotter months have been avoided for this reason. Some embryonation may occur on the longer journeys, but this has been shown in the previous program to not affect the counts.

Samples will be freighted on a Monday to arrive no later than Friday of the same week. 

ParaBoss will advise all participants a month in advance of the date samples will be sent.

We are obliged to freight with a UN3373 categorisation of biological samples. This categorisation and the express freighting results in a fairly high freight cost—higher to eastern states than WA.

What participants will need to do

  • Register and pay for the program through the link (this will open in August each year and close 3 weeks prior to sample send out).
  • You will be provided with all the details required to participate. This includes a document providing standard operating procedures for doing worm egg counts, allowing you to review your process in advance.
  • Receive samples and carry out the worm egg counts.
  • Return your results.
  • Reports will be provided about 1-2 months later. 
  • Those whose results satisfy the requirements will have their contact details added to the WormBoss provider page if they have requested this.
  • Anyone not satisfying the requirements will be provided with a report describing the likely reasons for inaccurate results. We will also provide you with contacts and introductions at major laboratories to allow you to gain further advice and or training. Such further advice/training would be at your own cost. Special arrangements will be made for follow up testing (again at your cost).
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