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2021 SmartWorm Trial Results Presented at Sheep Vet Society Conference

2021 SmartWorm Trial Results Presented at Sheep Vet Society Conference

We're excited to share that our Co-Founder and CEO Nick Cotter recently presented at the prestigious Sheep Veterinary Society Conference held in Belfast on May 24th 2022.

You can read the abstract below, and also watch the full presentation back at this link -

The talk, titled "How to Practically Implement TST at Farm Level," addressed the pressing issue of anthelmintic resistance, which is a significant threat to the sustainability and viability of sheep farms in Ireland and the UK.


The core of Nick's presentation was the introduction of SmartWorm, an innovative mobile phone app developed by Cotter Agritech. SmartWorm utilizes an advanced algorithm to enable sheep farmers to conduct Targeted Selective Treatment (TST) with unprecedented ease and accuracy. The app can indirectly identify which animals would benefit from anthelmintic treatment in real time, recommending treatment for those it predicts need it. The concept is inspired by the TST philosophy pioneered by Dr Fiona Kenyon of Moredun and Dr Andrew Greer of Lincoln University.

At the time of his presentation, Nick was able to share preliminary results from 2021 research for five out of twenty sheep farms in Ireland and the UK SmartWorm was deployed on. The results were very positive, demonstrating that using the SmartWorm app can reduce the need for anthelmintic treatment by up to 40% compared to regular blanket treatment, without any significant impact on animal performance relative to blanket treated animals. This not only represents a significant step forward in sustainable farming practices but also offers a practical solution to the challenge of anthelmintic resistance, while saving farmers time and money.

Trial Results

Results from 5 of the trial farms were showcased, located across Ireland and the UK (1 hill/mountain farm and 4 lowland farms). There were two groups of lambs on each farm. One group (Control) was blanket treated with an effective anthelmintic at each monthly yarding, and the second group (TST) was treated with the same effective anthelmintic, or not treated, based on the drenching decision recommended by the Smartworm® app. The Control and TST lambs were run together throughout the study.

Each individual lamb was measured either fortnightly or monthly (depending on the farm) for liveweight, average daily weight gain, the Smartworm® decision (and drenched or not), and blanket group animals were drenched from May to September 2021.

The animals enrolled were mixed sex spring born lambs, grazing various forage types (and presumed levels of parasite larval contamination). Useable data was available from 1,028 animals. 9 different breed types were included across the 5 farms.

Reductions in wormer treatment varied from 18-42% (average of 28%) when compared to the blanket treatment group. Overall, there was an average difference in final liveweight of +48 grams total across the farms over the trial period, when using the Smartworm app compared to the blanket-treated groups. This marginally higher final liveweight was not significantly different than the Control groups, highlighting that leaving TST lambs untreated had no significant impact on liveweight and growth.

Further validation is being conducted by Cotter Agritech in 2022 on sheep farms to investigate if more consistent dosing reductions of 40% or more can be achieved.

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