Rumen fluke spreads across Scotland

Rumen fluke is predicted to potentially become as widespread as liver fluke in Scotland, it was announced at the Quality Meat Scotlandís (QMS) Research & Development report launch last week.

However, despite 2012 being faced with as many diagnoses of rumen fluke as the last five years combined, it rarely causes disease in livestock, researchers said.

Senior research scientist Philip Skuce, at the Moredun Research Institute, said: ďThe summer of 2012 was one of the wettest on record and liver fluke has become a major problem for livestock farmers. The last quarter of 2012 saw a tenfold increase in diagnosis of acute liver fluke disease compared with the previous year.Ē

Skuce further explained that the work showed a different species of rumen fluke, as opposed to what was previously believed.

He said it has previously been known as paramphistomum cervi, however, the work showed that all the latest cases have been calicophoron daubneyi.

ďRumen fluke eggs look similar to liver fluke eggs and their presence may lead to incorrect diagnosis of liver fluke infection or apparent liver fluke treatment failure, which emphasises the importance of new diagnostics for both types of fluke,Ē said Skuce.

Meanwhile, he added that treatment on cattle had been tried and shown to eliminate the infection. He said: ďClearly this is good news for farmers who have animals affected by rumen fluke.Ē