Current cattle tick control practices and producer attitudes towards tick control in the eastern Cape Province of South Africa are discussed. These were ascertained from answers to a questionnaire survey to which 31,2% of farmers responded. In general, producers favoured intensive tick control. Beef and dairy farmers had a definite preference for synthetic pyrethroid acaricides, the majority followed a 25 times p.a. treatment frequency and most changed acaricides because of price. Beef producers favoured pour-on application of acaricides while the majority of dairy producers utilized plunge dipping. Producers who used hand spray techniques experienced the highest percentage of confirmed
acaricide resistance. A costs of R11,27 for acaricide treatment per bovine per annum was calculated from data gained in this survey. A cost index of 2,496 was calculated by relating acaricide cost to the prevailing price of beef in the region. Only a small number of producers used heartwater, babesiosis and anaplasmosis vaccines. Relative tick borne disease mortality ratios indicated higher heartwater mortalities at high acaricide treatment frequencies. These results are discussed in relation to the tick control regimes practised.
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