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Ensuring strong animal health in uncertain times

18 September, 2019
Strong animal health and welfare leads to improved yield, fertility and disease resistance, whilst also reducing the risk of costly treatments and labour when livestock are struck by disease.
Currently, UK farmers are under immense pressure to ensure their globally renowned high standards don’t falter in the event of a chaotic Brexit.

Jim Reynolds, Professor of Large Animal Medicine and Welfare at Western University of Health Sciences in California recently gave the following advice to an audience of vets and animal welfare scientists:

If you're asking advice from an American on farm economics, it is: ‘don't give up what you have’. What you have here is a high-welfare market with a high value to your products. I hope you don't let that slip.1
Consumers and retailers are now placing a greater emphasis on sustainable production and animal welfare. As a result, forming strong supply chain relationships becomes all the more important. Successful “de-risking” of a farming business will involve fewer ad hoc interactions and more focus on forming enduring long-lasting relationships. This will make strong animal health – and other sustainability requirements – fit naturally into a farm’s production system, rather than be a burden of constantly shifting requirements that farmers are required to meet.

How can this be achieved?

For a health plan that is actionable and successful, farmers need to partner with a vet to design one that meets their objectives. Central to this is the use of vaccines, which offer a strong protection against infectious disease whilst reducing antibiotic usage. Vaccines are becoming more prevalent, with growth climbing steadily in recent years (except for periods in which farmer incomes are restricted). 2
Farmers across Europe are clear that prevention is far better than cure for livestock and sustainability3. There’s a two-fold safeguard against the recurring threat of pests and parasites: utilise preventative treatments that cover the period of risk – ensuring complete peace of mind – and work with a partner that understands the current conditions and threat levels of these risks.

The combination of astute professional advice and a robust product that offers comprehensive coverage is a powerful part of risk management for livestock’s continued health and productivity.
Work with professional advisers in order to find a vaccination programme that’s right for your farm, adds Thomas Baines-Sizeland. They will be able to guide you on ensuring your coverage is effective both for your herd and your farm’s bottom line .

In short, take advantage of the opportunities available to you for successful health management; be sure your farm gets what it needs to minimise risk while still spending effectively.

How can you ensure strong animal health and secure your farm’s future against risk?

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