Know How / Health and welfare

Case studies

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Couple makes success of farming on remote Orkney island

Healthy and efficient animals are a must for Neil and Jocelyn Rendall, who farm one of the most remote and smallest Orkney islands. The Isle of Papa Westray (“Papay”), one…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How Co-op’s scheme keeps calves in the supply chain

Food retailer the Co-operative Group is expanding a calf scheme that integrates its dairy and beef supply chains. The scheme provides an outlet for all dairy/beef calves, including dairy bulls…

LIVESTOCK

Welsh farmers respond positively to BVD eradication scheme

Farmers have responded positively to the new Welsh Gwaredu BVD eradication scheme, which launched in September 2017. Since then, according to the £9m scheme’s technical lead, vet Neil Paton, about…

MEDICINES

Thermal imaging cuts antibiotics use on Northants beef farm

Livestock manager George Coles thinks thermal imaging is set to become a must-have for all farmers and could help reduce antibiotics use by enabling rapid disease detection and treatment. Mr…

LIVESTOCK

Farmer speaks of his hell at losing herd to Mycoplasma bovis

The Mycoplasma bovis bacterium, found on dairy farms throughout the UK, is a major contributor to calf pneumonia. It is also associated with mastitis, arthritis, meningitis, eye and ear infections,…

SHEEP

How a farmer tackled watery mouth without antibiotics

Shropshire sheep and beef farmer James Evans was concerned about the effect the routine use of antibiotics, used to tackle disease at lambing, was having on the health of his…

Practical advice

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YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

How to tackle cryptosporidium in calves

Cryptosporidiosis is the major cause of calf scour in UK beef and dairy herds and has been identified in samples from more than 40% of diagnosed infectious diarrhoea cases. Infected…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Q&A: How to prevent and treat coccidiosis in calves

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease usually seen in young beef and dairy calves aged between three weeks and six months. Infection is chiefly dependent on the level of challenge they…

SHEEP

How to test for wormer resistance in sheep

Testing for wormer resistance is vital to enable farmers to put effective worm control plans in place. Wormer resistance costs the UK sheep industry £84m each year. Almost all farms (94%)…

LIVESTOCK

Dairy farmer cuts vet spend while improving animal health

When Shropshire dairy farmer Henry Wilson returned home to farm four years ago vet spend had peaked at 2.5p/litre. But by working closely with his vet, Tim O’Sullivan at Shropshire…

PIGS

Tips on improving water quality for pigs

There are big opportunities to achieve better pig health and growth through simple changes to water systems, with potential yet to be fully explored on many units. Pigs need ready…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Q&A: How to prevent and treat ringworm in cattle

Ringworm is a very common and highly transmissible skin infection, passed between both cattle and humans. It causes intense irritation and can affect growth rates and damage hides, but steps…

Insights

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Q&A: How to prevent and treat ringworm in cattle

Ringworm is a very common and highly transmissible skin infection, passed between both cattle and humans. It causes intense irritation and can affect growth rates and damage hides, but steps…

SHEEP

Farm trial aims to solve risk of fluke-infected snails

A technique which identifies the presence of mud snails infected with fluke is being used to help Welsh farms determine fields posing the greatest risk to animals. The presence of…

NEWS

Farm minister explains purpose of bovine TB review

The government has announced a review of its 25-year strategy to tackle bovine TB in England, which includes culling badgers to curb the disease. Farm minister George Eustice said tackling…

SHEEP

How farmer-vet 'clubs' are improving flock health

The contact between sheep farmer and vet is often a once yearly affair focused on meeting flock health planning requirements, but a relatively new collaborative concept is forging stronger relationships…

LIVESTOCK

Current UK TB rules - and what's coming next

Defra and its devolved counterparts have announced a series of tougher bovine TB rules in the past 12 months in a bid to control the disease, which continues to see…

LIVESTOCK

Analysis: Is the badger cull in England working?

 In 2015, former Defra secretary Liz Truss claimed the badger culls were “working” and the chief vet had made it clear that Defra’s TB strategy was “delivering disease control benefits”.…

LIVESTOCK

Badger and cattle TB vaccination: The situation now

With controversy continuing to rage about badger culling, and questions still raised about the government’s “test and slaughter” policy for cattle, Defra is pumping millions of pounds a year into…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

What a new bovine TB test trial in Devon means for farmers

At an undisclosed farm location in Devon, leading vet Dick Sibley, director of West Ridge Veterinary Practice in Tiverton, is trialling a novel TB management package, including two new tests,…

MEDICINES

Sector-specific antibiotics targets and what they mean

Sector-specific targets surrounding antibiotics use have been developed by a “targets taskforce” made up of farmers and vets and facilitated by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance. Targets vary for…

YOUNGSTOCK MANAGEMENT

Why textbook heifer growth rates may not be good enough

Dairying experts at home and abroad are questioning whether units are achieving heifer growth targets of 0.7-0.8kg/day and if this gain is sufficient for the modern Holstein. Concerted efforts to…

SHEEP

Wormer trial shows faecal egg counting can cut drench costs

A research project has found using new technology and faecal egg counting can help halve drench use and save money and time. The Techion Group/Sainsbury’s project, looking at remote location…

NEWS

Welsh farmers face more testing in revised TB strategy

Splitting Wales into low, intermediate and high-risk TB zones, as introduced under the Welsh government’s new control strategy, is widely accepted as the correct approach to tackling the disease. A…