Abstract Helminth infection acquired by lambs grazing on pastures fertilised either by urban sewage sludge or cattle slurry were studied in temperate Central Western France. The aim was to assess the risk of larval cestodoses in lambs after sewage application and of digestive tract nematode infection following the slurry application. Twenty-six sheep were allocated on two paddocks of 0.7 ha, one fertilised with sludge and the other with cattle slurry. The delay between application and actual grazing was 6 weeks; grazing on these paddocks extended from mid July to beginning of November 2002. The herbage biomass was slightly increased in the sludge paddock but it did not result in an increase of lamb live weight, compared with the slurry paddock. The lambs did not acquire cysticercosis or any other larval cestodoses in the sewage sludge group and only very limited infections with Cooperia spp. and Nematodirus spp. were observed in the slurry group. It was concluded that in our conditions the helminth risk was extremely low and was not a cause of restriction of the use of these biowastes.