Animal parasiticides are substances used in agriculture and by veterinary medicine to kill parasites that infest livestock, pets and other animals. Ectoparasiticides used in livestock, horses and pets were primarily discovered and introduced initially as insecticides for agricultural production. The same chemical classes of insecticides are in use for both categories.
Parasiticides are categorised into the following:
- Ectoparasiticides – control external parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, lice and fleas
- Endoparasiticides – control internal parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms and fluke
The use of animal parasiticides has resulted in an improvement in the health of livestock and pets across the globe. Growing awareness regarding animal diseases has meant the animal parasiticides market is growing significantly in both the livestock and companion animal segments.
The global market for parasiticide use in pets has been estimated at over US$4.2 billion in 2014. Parasiticide use in production animals is anticipated to be a larger market size given the scope of agriculture globally. As an indication, for Europe alone, the market is estimated to be €1.7 billion for livestock parasiticides.
For the production livestock market, ectoparasiticides come in several formulations such as sprays, dips, shampoos, pour-ons, dusts, oil sprays, or feed additives. However, some of these formulations are difficult to dose and can be overused resulting in adverse effects on the animal treated or, in the case of food production animals, can result in unacceptable chemical residues in animal produce and meat.