Let us know how you view health planning and you could be in with a chance of winning one of 10 free tickets to Livestock 2012.

Ahead of this year’s premier livestock event – which will include a range of health planning seminars – we’d like to get an idea of the industry’s attitude to livestock health. Is your health plan a dynamic document or tick box exercise?

Ask most livestock producers what motivates them as a farmer and healthy, productive animals will come high up the list, said vet Michael Head, of the Shepton Vet Group.

“However often the link between this and their farm health plan is not recognised.”

Mr Head emphasised the need for a change in mindset from farmers and vets when it came to planning.

“There’s not only cost benefits to be had from having healthy animals, but also increased job satisfaction and less pressure on time from treating stock,” he said.

In fact within Shepton Vets, health planning has been identified as the main area for attention among their clients.

“Health plans can often be a big turn off to farmers, but we have designed a herd health plan review which summarises key areas for attention on one side of A4 to make it easier to digest,” said Mr Head.

“There is a need to move away from being reactionary and become more proactive. And it’s not about going through your plan the night before your farm audit – a farm health plan should be dynamic and something you think about 24:7.”

Vet Keith Cutler, from Endell Vet Group, agreed: “Health planning is not a tick box exercise – it is an ongoing assessment of how you are performing and how you can perform better.”

Mr Cutler stressed the benefits of proactive health planning were significant. For example, for beef producers improving health and getting cows in calf at the right time would result in a big boost to performance.

“The aim should be for no more than a three month calving period and to calve 93-95% of cows you put to the bull,” he said.



Visit our dedicated Livestock 2012 page to take part in our online survey which will be open until 27 July.

By getting involved the RABDF are also giving you the chance to win one of 10 free tickets to Livestock 2012 taking place on 4 and 5 September at the NEC, Birmingham.