Have you submitted your dung samples for the BEEP-S scheme?

The Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot – Sucklers (BEEP-S) scheme deadline is looming for participants.

Farmers must have the weights for cow and calves, eligible for the scheme, submitted and must also have dung samples sent to the laboratory for faecal egg count testing, no later than November 1, 2020.

Dung sampling is not a compulsory component of the scheme. However, it can result in an additional payment of €10 per cow, up to a maximum of 100 cows.

Faecal egg testing must be conducted by a Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) approved laboratory.

The main purpose of testing is to measure the number of faecal eggs within each sample. Within the context of this scheme, it will highlight any potential issues of liver and rumen fluke cows may have on the farm.

Dung sampling can also aid in the detection of gutworm eggs, lungworm larvae, cryptosporidia and coccidia oocytes in younger stock.

Collecting faecal matter

It is vital, when sampling on the farm is being completed, that these guidelines (below) are considered when collecting faecal matter.

How to collect samples:
  • Gloves should be worn and it is vital that the sample is fresh;
  • Samples should be taken in the morning after a resting period;
  • 10 different samples from at least 10 different animals should be taken;
  • The faeces should be placed into a sample pot and then enclosed in an airtight zip-lock bag;
  • Fill out the submission form and ensure that the animal’s tag number has been recorded for each sample pot;
  • Store samples in a cool place;
  • Do not freeze or place the samples in direct sunlight;
  • Ideally, post the samples to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection.

Results

It is important, once dung testing is completed, that farmers analyse the results of their animals’ faecal egg counts.

If farmers are unsure of what steps to take, a consultation with a local vet is advised in order to make relevant changes to the farm’s herd health plan.

Based on the results, a dosing strategy should be implemented to ensure a more targeted approach, to liver and rumen fluke, can be achieved on the farm.

It will also avoid the overuse of anthelmintics, which can lead to increased levels of parasitic resistance.