Epidemiology of Major Small Ruminant Ectoparasites and Effectiveness of the Control Approaches Employed in Selected Pastoral Districts of Afar, Northeastern Ethiopia

Fikre Zeru


A cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2014 to April 2015 aimed at determining the epidemiology of major ectoparasites of small ruminant and assessment of effectiveness of the control approaches employed in Zone four of Afar region state. Out of 614 goats and 446 sheep examined for ectoparasites, 564 (91.86%) goats and 422 (94.62%) sheep were found infested with one or more ectoparasites.  The overall prevalence was 93.02% (986/1060).  The overall prevalence of ectoparasite was significantly higher in adult (96.91% in sheep, 93.83% in goat) than young (88.52% in sheep, 86.25% in goat) (P< 0.05). No significant association between the ectoparasite prevalence among the woredas, sex and body condition was evidenced in both species. Higher tick infestation prevalence, 90.75%, were observed both in sheep (90.58%) and goat (90.88%) followed by lice prevalence rate of 6.41% (11.66% in sheep and 2.93% in goat) and mange (Demodex) (0% in sheep and 0.65% in goats). Overall eight genera of ectoparasites belonging to ticks (Boophilus, Amblyomma, Rhepicephalus, Hyalomma and haemaphisalis), lice (sucking and biting lice) and mange (Demodex) were identified. Even though there was irregular or unplanned application of diazionon application campaigns in the study area the burden/trend of ectoparasite infestation in the area were remain high (91.75%). Because of this and prevailing poor veterinary services in the area pastoralist forced to treat their animals traditionally which is unsafe and not effective.  Most of pastoralists in the study area were awarded of the effect of ectoparasite on the animal health and productivity and skin quality. The present study revealed that extremely high prevalence and widespread occurrence of ectoparasites in small ruminant and the employed control approaches were not effective in the study area. Therefore, control of ectoparasites requires integrated ectoparasite management systems that combine sanitation, application of ectoparasiticides appropriately, reduction of breeding sites, environmental sprays, weed and vegetation controls and other biological control.

Keywords: Goat, Sheep, Ectoparasites, diazionon, prevalence, Afar, pastoral area

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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