World’s first oral sheep lousicide registered in Australia

Sheep Central, April 21, 2023

AUSTRALIA’S veterinary medicines authority has registered the world’s first oral product for managing lice in sheep.

In a LinkedIn post, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority chief executive officer Nicole Hinder said the world-first registration was good news for Australian wool growers.

“The #APVMA has just completed another world-first registration – and I cannot help but shout it from … the woolsheds!, Ms Hinder wrote.

“It is with great pleasure, and a big nod to the APVMA team, that I can announce that the APVMA has approved a first-of-its-kind oral product containing #Fluralaner for lice control in sheep.

“The product is now available to the Australian market,” she said.

Ms Hinder said typically, lice control products for sheep – especially those with long wool – require labour-intensive jetting or dipping processes.

“This world-first registration controls isoxazoline-susceptible lice (Bovicola ovis), including strains resistant to synthetic pyrethroids and insect growth regulators on sheep and lambs with any length of wool.

“This will be a game-changer to significantly improve labour efficiency for Australia’s hard-working wool growers!” she said.

“To say I am proud of the APVMA Team for pulling through on this assessment is an understatement.

“A world-first approval like this takes a huge amount of work from staff across the APVMA to get a registration like this across the line,” Ms Hinder wrote.

“So, a hearty congratulations to all APVMA staff involved – this is a serious win for Australia’s sheep and wool industries!”

The APVMA considered an application from Intervet Australia Pty Limited for approval of the new product, Fluralaner 10 g/L Lousicide for Sheep, containing 10 mg fluralaner/mL, for oral administration to sheep. The use of fluralaner on sheep has not previously been registered in Australia, the APVMA said. Fluralaner is currently registered for oral administration to chickens via drinking water. Intervet is an MSD Animal Health entity.

Ruminant Business Unit lead for MSD Jane Parker said MSD Animal Health is pleased to confirm the registration of the new product to the Australian sheep market.

She said Fluralaner is Australia’s first oral sheep lice treatment that controls lice in any length of wool.

“We expect that sheep producers will consider this to be an innovative and breakthrough product.

“Coopers is a trusted brand with a long history of innovation in the sheep lice segment and for MSD Animal Health, it represents another milestone in bringing new active ingredients to new species of animals,” she said.

WoolProducers supported Fluralaner registration

Peak wool grower body WoolProducers Australia was the only industry organisation to submit a supporting submission to the APVMA for Fluralaner’s registration.

WPA chief executive officer Jo Hall said lice are a significant production and animal health issue for the Australian wool industry, estimated to cost the sheep industry more than $107 million per year in treatment, prevention and production costs, including reduction in fleece values.

“Many of the currently available control products, particularly those applied to sheep with long wool, require labour intensive jetting and / or dipping processes.

“There are currently no registered products that are orally administered,” Ms Hall submitted.

“The registration of such products would be advantageous to wool growers through their improved labour efficiency in relation to jetting and dipping.

“WoolProducers are extremely supportive of the APVMA’s consideration in approving Fluralaner 10 g/L Lousicide for Sheep in effort to assist woolgrowers to control, treat and prevent lice, on the proviso that the efficacy of the product is of an appropriate level to adequately treat lice in a heard health context.”

Ms Hall said there are currently a number of registered products for the control of lice in sheep that predominantly fall under eight chemical groups.

“Of these eight chemical groups, two are starting to show signs of widespread resistance.

“The registration of a new product to combat lice as an alternate or complimentary tool for woolgrowers can only be viewed as a positive.”

Ms Hall said whilst acknowledging the trade risk for Fluralaner in exported edible sheep meat, the proposed 54-day ESI appears to mitigate potential risks.

“Wool growers and sheep producers in general, are well educated and equipped to adhere to ESI’s as part of ‘business-as-usual’ and therefore WoolProducers does not view the approval of Fluralaner as an unacceptable risk to the sheep meat or wool export trade.”

Professor of livestock systems at the University of New England Lewis Kahn said in general, he agreed that any new, presumably effective, chemical group for the control of lice on sheep is valuable for the industry and importantly provides more choice for rotation among chemical groups to slow development of resistance.

“The oral route of administration is also useful because effectiveness of backline products is highly dependent on the correct application method and this has potential difficulty to ensure quality control and therefore effective treatment.

“Identification of orally-treated animals will need to be closely monitored -as is the case for dipping- where the ease of identification with backliner products is absent,” he said.

Click here to read an APVMA trade advice notice for the product.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Angus Carter, July 13, 2023

    Rams which are about to be joined does it affect their semen?
    Ewes heavy in lamb, what effect on the unborn lamb?
    Does it have any effect on worms?
    How long does it kill lice for and how close to lambing can it be used?
    Angus Carter
    Armidale NSW

  2. Paul Phillips, July 11, 2023

    Good to hear that there is a drench for lice coming on the market. I hope it is better than the pour on, as I have tried to eradicate lice with it and found it useless.

  3. Bernard Kehoe, June 13, 2023

    This is such a game changer, this will help any conflict with neighbours when such a problem can be so easily fixed.
    When will it be released to the public?

  4. Sinclair Stratton, May 31, 2023

    This sounds like a very useful product. I am also keen to know when we would be able to purchase and try this product. A timeline of expected availability would be appreciated.
    Sinclair Stratton

  5. Cresswell Trading Pty Ltd, May 23, 2023

    What can we do to help this game-changing drench to be available for purchase?
    To be able to treat sheep with any wool length would be a great advantage. It could be done at any stage and be another tool to help keep our sheep happy and healthy.
    Withholding periods and ESI’s are no different to anything that we currently use. We should all be able to track which animals have been treated especially when we have the use of EID equipment that is used.
    Please help us to care for our animals with this product.

  6. Chris Horton, May 11, 2023

    When is this becoming available to purchase? Thanks Chris. Editor’s note: MSD Animal Health has been asked this Chris, but is yet to release those details.

  7. Eduardo Lorenzelli, April 23, 2023

    Soy Médico Veterinario y quisiera obtener los trabajos científicos del Fluralaner como piojicida en ovinos.
    Me parece un desarrollo fabuloso.
    Muchas gracias, saludos cordiales,
    (I am a veterinarian and I would like to obtain the scientific works of the Fluralaner as a piojicide in sheep.
    I think it’s a fabulous development. Thank you very much, best regards,)
    Dr. Eduardo Lorenzelli
    Salto – Uruguay

Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -