Dissemination of parasites by animal movements in small ruminant farms
The present paper discusses the spread of parasites by animal movements in small ruminant farms; it focuses in dissemination of parasitic forms that would lead to subsequent infection of sheep or goats. Systems of small ruminant production involve a component of animal movement (e.g., grazing) as part of routine husbandry, which favors spread of parasitic forms; that refers mainly to parasites of the digestive system (nematodes, trematodes, cestodes, protozoa), as well as helminthes of the respiratory system, although dissemination of the various parasitic forms in the environment would not always result to subsequent infection; external parasites may also be disseminated during movements, e.g., to inhabit wooden poles used in fencing. New livestock into a farm constitutes a biosecurity hazard and the most common means to introducing new parasitic pathogens into a farm; in contemporary small ruminant health management, this contributes in dissemination of anthelmintic resistant parasitic strains; other parasitic disease agents (e.g., mange mites, ticks) may also be spread into a farm that way. Often, especially in small scale farming, visits of rams or bucks take place from one farm to another during the mating season; in such cases, ectoparasites (e.g., mange mites) can be disseminated through direct contact of animals, as well other pathogens (e.g., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum) via the semen. During transportation of sheep/goats, parasitic forms can also spread, as well as during movement of sheep or goats to slaughterhouses, in which case dogs present in these places would contribute to their dissemination. Spread of life forms of various parasites can also occur from animal species present in the environment of sheep or goats; these include animals present within a farm, stray dogs roaming around a farm (e.g., for spread of Multiceps multiceps, Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia hydatigena, N. caninum), cats commanding the environment of a farm (e.g., for spread of T. gondii), cats or rats responsible for dissemination of fleas, which may also be spread by humans as well, and, finally, wildlife animals. Finally, life forms of parasites of small ruminants may be also spread indirectly, by material associated with sheep or goats (e.g., materials of humans visiting farms, animal feeds) that had been contaminated by faecal material of animals. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.