- Sarco is caused by a protozoan organism called Sarcocystis.
- Sheep are the intermediate hosts and cats are the final hosts.
- Sheep are infected by eating sporocysts in cat faeces.
- The parasite is common in cooler climates.
- Sheep will show no clinical signs.
- Cysts cannot be detected in live animals but are readily seen by examining the animal at the abattoir.
- Sarcocystis cysts are white and resemble grains of rice.
- They occur inthe oesophagus, tongue, diaphragm and skeletal muscle.
- There is no treatment for the cysts in sheep.
- Keep livestock feed secure from access by cats.
- Restrict domestic cats (and dogs) from access to offal and uncooked sheep meat.
- Dispose of carcasses immediately so they cannot be accessed by predators, including cats.
- Control feral cat populations.