Know How / Beef / Health and welfare

Read up-to-date information on major welfare issues and diseases affecting dairy animals including infectious disease such as TB and BVD, respiratory disease, lameness and keep up to date with the latest welfare requirements.

Case studies


Why portable milkers can ease stress at calving

Using a portable milking machine in the calving pen is the easiest and fastest way to harvest a cow’s first colostrum and avoid having to move a newly calved cow.…


How two herds have reduced incidence of stillbirth

Selective breeding, addressing mineral status and transition management are just some of the ways beef and dairy farmers can minimise costly stillbirths. Perinatal mortality (stillbirth) is defined as the death…


How cattle on herbal leys have transformed Essex farm

A short video about grazing herbal leys sparked a complete change of direction for an Essex arable farm. Gone are the wheat, oilseed rape and potato crops, and in their…


Bovine TB blow prompts dairy farmer to join Longhorn scheme

Price security and the ability to better weather a bovine TB outbreak were the main reasons dairy farmer Jonathan Scott signed up to a Longhorn scheme. In 2016, TB hit…


How a calf unit has reduced antibiotics use by 60%

In the two years that Dominic McKenzie has been farm manager at Long Lane Development Farm in Somerset, the antibiotics use has fallen by 60% at the calf-rearing unit that…


How Herefordshire mixed farmer won Soil Farmer of the Year

The farming system at Boycefield didn’t just tick all the judges’ boxes when searching for the Soil Farmer of the Year. It is ticking all the boxes when it comes…

Practical advice

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What can be done to prevent bluetongue virus?

Insecticides and repellents will not prevent cattle and sheep from being infected with bluetongue virus, scientists are warning. Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an infectious, non-contagious virus spread by Culicoides biting…


Lameness in beef cattle: Effect, causes and treatment

Cattle lameness is a significant welfare and economic problem facing the livestock industry. Most of the focus has been on lameness within the national dairy herd, where there is a…


Why portable milkers can ease stress at calving

Using a portable milking machine in the calving pen is the easiest and fastest way to harvest a cow’s first colostrum and avoid having to move a newly calved cow.…


5 ways to ensure a safe and successful beef calving

Understanding basic principles of animal behaviour and physiology can help farmers develop a functional and safe calving system. Rarely a year goes by without Health and Safety Executive records showing…


How to make routine dairy tasks easier with a calf kitchen

Making it easy to carry out routine tasks is essential to optimise calf health, welfare and productivity. Emily Linton of Torch Farm Vets offers expert advice. I walked onto a…


The risks of dog faeces to livestock and how to prevent them

Having five carcasses condemned for discolouration caused by cysts has cost a farm dearly and highlighted the issue of the dangers of dog muck. The costly case happened in 2021…



6 livestock tech developments to look out for

From driverless tractors to cameras for identifying diseases, several high-tech innovations are coming down the track. Farmers Weekly looks at six highlights. See also: NI farm transforms slurry and food…


How local TB programmes are ‘giving farmers back control’

Local TB programmes working in collaboration with farmers, vets and Animal and Plant Healthy Agency (Apha) staff are having a positive effect in helping farmers take control of the disease.…


Calf monitoring and health plans key to future performance

Some 90% of farmers want to make changes to improve the future sustainability of their youngstock management in the next 12 months, according to a Farmers Weekly exclusive survey. Yet…


Why diverse forage mixtures could improve outwintering

Findings from a recent trial in Devon have concluded that outwintering cattle on a diverse mix of forages can help improve both animal and soil health, while also benefiting the…


How the free bovine TB advisory service is helping farmers

The TB Advisory Service (TBAS), is a Defra-funded initiative which gives free, practical advice to help dairy and beef farmers control bovine TB on farms in England.  The TBAS programme…


Could thermal imaging transform livestock health management?

Thermal imaging is common in human medicine, but research from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) shows there is huge potential for it to be used in the early detection of cross-species…


Livestock Medicine Hub - what it's for and how it can help

A new database that enables farms to record, monitor and benchmark their antibiotics use has been developed by representatives from across the ruminant sector. Medicine Hub is available now and…


Why health gains cut ruminant methane emissions by 10%

Three classic livestock benchmarking targets can help sheep and cattle farms raise technical performance and meet obligatory methane goals to battle climate change. Livestock policy leaders are urging farmers to…


Coccidiosis project raises hope for new treatment

Coccidiosis is a perennial parasitic problem in growing lambs. It presents some difficulties in diagnosis, treatment and prevention – but good news could be around the corner.  Lambs and calves…


Video: Fluke video gives powerful insight into parasite

A video documenting the different stages of the harmful liver fluke parasite has been made to help farmers understand its complex life cycle. The video (below) shows the liver fluke…


Vet survey reveals serious challenges ahead for profession

Poor retention and recruitment rates, Brexit and dissatisfaction in the industry could see a shortage of farm vets in the future if action isn’t taken.  Farmers Weekly carried out a…


4 farmers’ badger-proofing inventions help cut TB risk

Inventive farmers are mitigating the risk of bovine TB spreading from badgers to their dairy and beef cattle by devising their own obstacles to wildlife incursions. Some of the winners…

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