Modelling the risk of specific parasites to UK sheep under predicted climate change

As climate change makes Scottish summers warmer and wetter, livestock farmers will face new or increased threats from diseases and parasites. One such parasite is Haemonchus contortus, a blood-feeding worm which  infects sheep and goats. 

Historically, this parasite was only a major problem in the southern hemisphere but recently it has become more common in the UK and is causing more disease in sheep. Based on what we know about how Haemonchus  develops from egg to blood-feeding parasite, climate change is likely to increase the problem.

This report looks at interim findings from a model that analyses the rate of parasite development under the likely mean daily temperature and precipitation, based on UK Met Office climate projections (UKCP09).