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.
Associate Editor for Hair and Wool
Bruce McGregor has devoted his life to animals, environmental management and community organizations. Bruce has training in agriculture, land management, wool science, textiles and organization leadership. He has investigated animal production systems in advanced technology societies and subsistence transhumance societies including products from superfine Merino sheep, Angora goats, cashmere goats, alpacas, and other animals.
His initial focus was on the effects of nutrition management on wool and meat production. His extensive collaborations include animal health, genetic improvement, animal welfare, and new industry development. Bruce’s work included substantial efforts in farmer extension training in new industries to translate research findings into practical outcomes. His industry research evolved to include the fundamental drivers of enterprise profitability and animal fiber physical properties. Postgraduate training and subsequent research investigated the role of wool and cashmere fiber quality on textile processing, textile product quality and human sensorial assessment of wool knitwear.
Since 1992, Bruce has been a reviewer, a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee and an Associate Editor with Small Ruminant Research. He is the author of over 600 research, technical and advisory publications. He is a long-term member of the International Goat Association and has attended 8 of their International Conferences.
Bruce is an IGA member and former member of the Board of Directors.
Bruce McGregor, IGA member and former IGA Board member
Australia’s rural industries make a fundamental contribution to the Australian economy and way of life
Australia’s rural industries make a fundamental contribution to the Australian economy and way of life. In addition to the major industries, numerous new and emerging rural industries bring opportunity, diversity and resilience to rural Australia. The long-term sustainability of the rare natural animal fibre industries is of considerable importance both to the production industries and for economic and social benefits generated by value-adding processing of rare animal fibres in Australia. As these are new industries in Australia, there is substantial scope to improve production efficiency, fibre quality and value adding of these fibres.
To assist the development of these new industries this project focussed on two main issues:
About the Author
As a Research Scientist, Dr. Bruce McGregor B.Agr.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D., Advanced Cert. Textile Technology, has focussed on improving the production, fibre quality, processing and comfort properties of rare natural animal fibres including superfine wool, cashmere, mohair and alpaca. This led to Ph.D. studies on the quality of cashmere and its influence on textile materials produced from cashmere and blends with different qualities of superfine wool. Recently he was Program Leader of the Wool Comfort research conducted by the CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation. He has published over 150 scientific research papers plus numerous technical bulletins and advisory publications. Bruce has travelled widely to countries that produce rare natural animal fibres so he could understand the environmental, social and technological conditions in these regions. He has published a number of other reports that are available on the AgriFutures website
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.