Home > Golf course discovery leads to significant advancement in animal health in past 25 years

Golf course discovery leads to significant advancement in animal health in past 25 years

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article image Virbac Australia General Manager Bruce Bell
According to Virbac Australia General Manager Bruce Bell, one of the most significant advancements in animal health in the past 25 years can be traced to a 1983 discovery on a golf course in Victoria’s Mallee region.

He explains that the moxidectin molecule, which is part of the ML family, was developed from the discovery of the nemadectin-producing bacteria, Streptomyces cyaneogriseus that was isolated from a soil sample on a golf course in the Mallee region of Victoria in 1983.

Animal health experts agree that the resulting introduction of moxidectin-based drenches in 1994 to control internal and external parasites alongside other macrocyclic lactone (ML) products was revolutionary. Prior to the introduction of MLs such as moxidectin, producers needed to treat livestock separately to control external parasites such as lice and ticks, and internal parasites such as worms.

Nemadectin was chemically modified to produce the molecule moxidectin, which was found to have a unique chemical structure that delivered high potency in protecting animals against parasites for a longer time frame. The environmentally safe profile, specifically no known impact on dung beetle mortality or development was an important advantage.

World-leading animal health company Virbac produces the moxidectin-based Cydectin range of drenches for Australia. Available in injectable, oral and pour-on versions, Cydectin was first introduced in 1994, becoming one of the most recognisable brands in the livestock animal health market by 2003.

Virbac’s two flagship products containing MLs are Virbamec and Cydectin with the Cydectin family consisting of 14 different products including six oral and four combination injectable products for sheep, a pour-on and an injection for cattle and long acting injections for both cattle and sheep.

Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle for instance, controls Ostertagia for 112 days, barber’s pole worm, lungworm and nodule worm for 120 days, black scour worm for 72 days and cattle tick for 51 days.

Virbac’s research focus over the past 25 years has been not only on improving efficacy, but also on further reducing toxicity to protect beneficial pests such as dung beetles and to ensure optimum animal safety. Bruce explains that dung beetles can actually work in harmony with animal health products by reducing worm populations in pasture.

Bruce also observes that vaccines are the way of the future in animal health with double digit growth rates already being registered in local as well as international vaccine markets. Preventative medicine results in a much more efficient production system for livestock producers because it allows them to proactively avoid production losses resulting from animal health issues while also providing animals with the extra nutrients and vitamins they need to generally increase their productivity.

Virbac Animal Health  products include a full range of drenches, vaccines and nutritional products for cattle and sheep, a quality range of wormers and nutritional products for horses, and dermatology products, vaccines and reproduction products for the veterinarian market.

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