WASHINGTON, December 9, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service (ARS) today announced a groundbreaking treatment that prevents anemia, weight loss, poor wool and meat production, and even death in sheep.
ARS researchers partnered with Virginia Tech and the University of Massachusetts' Medical School to solve H. contortus parasite infection, which also happens to be the number one health problem in the U.S. sheep industry. The parasite infects the stomach of ruminant mammals, feeding and interfering with digestion, before ultimately affecting the animal's overall health and stability.
"The H. contortus parasite has developed resistance to virtually all known classes of anti-parasitic drugs," said ARS Researcher Dr. Joseph Urban, who lead the research team in testing and implementation of a para-probiotic treatment to kill the parasite that causes H.contortus.
The worm parasite mates within the animal and its fertilized eggs pass through the animal's waste into the soil. The larvae then develop to re-infect other unsuspecting animals, spreading the infection throughout a pasture and creating a cycle of infection that hinders animal growth, development and production.
The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), a nonregulatory unit of USDA-APHIS-VS, is developing its Goat 2019 study. NAHMS recently conducted a brief on-line survey and greatly appreciates the input from those who completed the survey. NAHMS conducted the survey to:
NAHMS will use survey results to develop the information objectives that will shape the NAHMS study.
The Newsletter of the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research Cooperative Extension Program, Langston University
Production loss has many facets. According to the USDA/APHIS NAHMS report entitled "Goat and Kid Predator and Nonpredator Death Loss in the United States, 2015", by the way Mr. Branan is associated with this USDA program, about 500,000 adult and kid goats were lost to all causes (nonpredator and predator) in 2015, which represented 10% of U.S. adult goat inventory and 20% of kids born in 2015. The total value of goat and kid losses was $70 million. Texas had the largest inventory of goats and also had the highest percentage of losses: 36% of U.S. adult goat deaths and 38 % of kid deaths. Nonpredator causes accounted for about three-fourths of all adult goat and kid death losses in the U.S. in 2015. Of known losses due to nonpredator causes, internal parasites were the primary cause, resulting in almost 87,000 goat and kid deaths in 2015. For 2015 death losses due to predators, coyotes and dogs accounted for the highest percentages of goat and kid death losses in 2015. Overall, coyotes and dogs accounted for almost 80,000 goat and kid deaths, or about 65% of all losses due to predators.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service is looking to address world hunger through better goat genetics.
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The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.