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Script 63.4

Notes to broadcasters

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Internal parasites are a serious problem for livestock. Infected animals become thin and produce less milk. Young animals don’t grow properly. The farmer loses money.

Several types of parasites infect farm animals: some live in the intestines, some in the lungs, some in other parts of the body. But they all have the same life cycle: adult parasites lay eggs in the animal’s body, which are then passed out in the urine or faeces. The eggs develop into immature parasites, which are taken in by animals when they are grazing or drinking water. In the body, they mature and the cycle starts again.

Animals infected with internal parasites may have one or more of the following symptoms: a rough hair coat, anemia, diarrhea, a thin and sickly appearance, an enlarged abdomen, reduced milk production, poor growth, or a pale complexion. Advise farmers to seek veterinary advice when dealing with internal parasites.

There are some preventive management practices that can be used to minimise losses from parasitic infections. Preventive practices include proper sanitation, pasture and/or pen rotation, keeping animals away from wet, swampy areas, and administering regular doses of parasite medicine. This script discusses two of these practices – proper sanitation in livestock pens, and pasture rotation . The veterinarian in this drama is a woman, to portray a woman working in a non-traditional profession.

Script

Characters

Program Host

Mr. Chui:
Farmer
Mrs. Kawa:
Veterinarian

SOUND EFFECTS: COW MOOING. SHED DOOR OPENS. SOUND OF STEPS ON STRAW

Mr. Chui
: (speaking to his cow)Now then, Mama Ngombe, how are you feeling today? (The cow moos.) Po, po, po, po, po … you are still looking ill. And smelling ill, too. Who do you think is going to clean all this?

SOUND EFFECTS: SOUND OF A MOTORCYLE ENGINE

Do you hear that? Your doctor has arrived. Come, here’s some hay. Eat it, go on… eat it. Or the doctor will give you some bitter medicine.

SOUND EFFECTS: APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS

Mrs. Kawa:
Good morning, Mr. Chui. How is the patient today?

Mr. Chui
: She still has diarrhoea and keeps getting thinner. Since last Thursday she has been giving less and less milk.

Mrs. Kawa:
If you had called me earlier, I would have been able to treat her earlier.

Mr. Chui
: I thought she would get better by herself. You know, sometimes animals get sick, but then they become better without any medicine.

Mrs. Kawa
: Hmmm… You always say that … you always call me at the last minute. One day you will lose an animal because you have called me too late. Not this time, though. I have the results of the laboratory test. Your cow has worms in her intestines.

Mr. Chui
: Does that mean she will die? Or can you save her with medicine?

Mrs. Kawa
: I do have medicine for her. But that is only part of the solution. The medicine will get rid of the parasites inside the cow, but she will get infected again if you don’t take other precautions. It is like trying to prevent malaria. We give medicine to cure the patient, but we also make sure there are no breeding places for the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

Mr. Chui
: But how do we get rid of places where the parasites live?

Mrs. Kawa
: Just wait, and you will see…

FADE OUT SCENE

FADE IN SCENE

Mrs. Kawa:
I have told you that there are worms living inside Mama Ngombe’s body. Those worms are laying eggs. The eggs will pass out of her body with the dung. All this manure lying on the ground contains worm eggs that will hah if you don’t take precautions. These pens where you keep your animals are part of the problem.

Mr. Chui:
Why?! What is wrong with the pens? I built them myself. They are protected from the wind and the sun, so the cattle won’t fall sick.

Mrs. Kawa:
Yes, but look at that water container – beside a pile of dung! Some of that dung is spilling into the water. Your animals will drink that water and drink the worms that are in the dung. They will get infected again. It is very important to keep the pens clean.

Mr. Chui
: Okay, I will change the water and food containers and move them around so they can’t get dirty.

Mrs. Kawa:
There is something else you should consider. Can you show me your pastures?

Mr. Chui:
Yes – but I don’t understand why you need to see my pastures.

Mrs. Kawa:
Just wait and you will see…

FADE OUT SCENE

SOUND EFFECTS: FOOTSTEPS IN A WET FIELD.

Mrs. Kawa:
Just as I thought, the pastures are soaking wet.

Mr. Chui:
Of course, they are wet! This is the rainy season!

Mrs. Kawa:
True, and that is exactly what livestock parasites like – a lot of nice, wet mud. How long have you been using this pasture?

Mr. Chui
: Several months. There is plenty of grass, so there was no reason to move the animals.

Mrs. Kawa
: That’s too long to keep your animals in one place, and I’ll tell you why. All the manure you can see here in the pasture probably has worm eggs in it. When the animals eat the grass, they also eat the worm eggs. But there is something you can do. Take your animals off this pasture, and move them to another pasture. The sunlight will kill the eggs in the manure. After about three months you can move the animals back here.

Mr. Chui
: What you’re saying is that I should rotate the animals from pasture to pasture.

Mrs. Kawa
: Yes, exactly. Especially when the ground is so wet. You shouldn’t use a pasture for more than one or two months at a time.

Mr. Chui:
Okay. So I need to take my animals to another pasture and let this pasture rest for two months. After two months I can bring the animals back here, and let the other pasture rest. Is there anything else I should know?

Mrs. Kawa
: Yes. Use this same rotation with your animal pens. Keep animals in a pen for only one or two months. Then move the animals to another pen and allow it to dry for 3 months.

Mr. Chui
: Doctor, I’ll do these things that you have suggested. But I warn you, with all this work I am going to do, my animals will be so healthy that you won’t get much business from me in the future!

FADE OUTFADE IN MUSIC AND HOLD QUIETLY UNDER ANNOUNCER

Host:
To prevent infection of livestock by internal parasites, move your animals to different pens or pastures every one to two months. Leave the pen or pasture empty for three to six months. The sunlight dries the manure and kills the eggs inside.

And remember. Give your animals medicine regularly to make sure that any parasites they pick up are killed. This is especially important when they are about to give birth and when they are producing milk.

CLOSING MUSIC

Acknowledgements

Contributed by Amin Kassam, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Reviewed by Dan Gudahl, Contracts Officer, Winrock International, Morrilton, AK, USA

Information Sources

Where there is no animal doctor, by Peter Quesenberry and Dr. Maureen Birmingham, 1992. Christian Veterinary Mission, Division of World Concern, Box 33000, Seattle, Washington 98133 USA.