The prevalence and economic significance ofFasciola giganticaandStilesia hepaticain slaughtered animals in the semi-arid coastal Kenya

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Fasciola gigantica and Stilesia hepatica constrain ruminant productivity. The prevalence and economic losses caused by F. gigantica and S. hepatica in the ruminant production systems of Taveta division of Kenya were estimated in a retrospective appraisal of the slaughter records on the total number of animals slaughtered and livers condemned over the period 1989 to 2004. Only liver condemnations based on infestation by F. gigantica and S. hepatica were considered for purposes of this study. Liver condemnation rates differed significantly between bovines, caprines and ovines (p≤ 0.05) for F. gigantica (26%, 6.6% and 5.2%, respectively) and for S. hepatica (0.4%, 22% and 28%, respectively). The total loss through condemnation of both F. gigantica and S. hepatica infested livers was 4 408 272 KES (Kenyan shillings) (US$ 72 272). The proportion of loss in bovines, caprines and ovines, was 76%, 17% and 7%, respectively. Fasciolosis contributed 3 505 410 KES (79.5%) and S. hepatica infestation 903 210 KES (20.5%) to the total losses due to liver condemnations. The authors feel strongly that there is a need for more work on the two parasites using live animals to determine the prevalence in animals of various ages, species and breeds and the economics of disease control at farm level.

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