Sainsbury’s sheep farmers to benefit from faster parasite technology

Sainsbury’s has announced new technology for its sheep farmers, which will “effectively manage parasites, increasing product quality”.

The parasite management technology, Fecpak, allows farmers real-time feedback on parasites, as opposed to sending samples away for testing, which can take time, thus allowing for more regular testing. The technology is being supplied by New Zealand company Techion Group.

According to Techion, after nutrition, parasites are the largest influencing factor on animal performance. “The problem of increasing drug resistance from parasites to the drenches designed to kill them means we have to be smarter on how and when we use them, so it’s important to make use of new technologies to make better decisions,” explained Greg Mirams, founder and managing director of Techion.

The supermarket has already piloted the technology with its sheep farmers. Gareth Owen, a Leicestershire sheep farmer who has been testing the system since December, said “Fecpak is user-friendly and puts accurate information at our fingertips, so we can make decisions sooner on whether we need to drench or not.”

Sainsbury’s is supporting the project through its Agricultural R&D Grant Scheme. Philip Hambling, agriculture manager for lamb and pork at Sainsbury’s, said: “We are delighted to support this project as it makes egg-counting more reliable. More frequent counting will give our farmers the power to make informed decisions that benefit the performance of the flock and make more effective use of anthelmintics.”

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