Know How / Health and welfare

Animal health is critical to all producers of dairy and beef cattle, sheep and pigs. Get advice on dealing with livestock diseases such as, bovine TB and mastitis, and conditions such as heat stress, lameness and ewe prolapse. See best practice on vaccination, medicines and reducing antibiotics.

Case studies

MEDICINES

4 ways US dairy has cut antibiotics in lactating cows

Adopting a series of protocols for housing, milking practices and genetic selection has removed the need to treat lactating cows with antibiotics in a high-yielding, housed dairy herd. Lloyd and…

PIGS

How Norfolk pig farmers cut water use by 50%

Moulded plastic tanks with nipple drinkers have transformed water quality and brought water and labour savings for a Norfolk outdoor pig operation. The team at LSB Pigs, based at East…

SLURRY AND MANURE MANAGEMENT

How a slurry robot is helping reduce disease on dairy farm

Following the installation of four robot milkers 14 months ago, Devonshire farmer Steve Davey realised the need to find a solution to conventional slurry scraping in cubicle sheds. “After we…

SHEEP

How remote parasite monitoring cuts labour and resistance

Fast and accurate faecal egg counts (FECs) are slowing the rate of anthelmintic resistance and saving on labour for a large Scottish Borders sheep operation. Farmers Weekly visited Bowhill Farming…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

How dairy farm is controlling Johne's while buying-in cows

When Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden decided to covert Longden Manor Farm back to an organic autumn-block and expand to 300 cows his farm manager, Colin Bowen, knew they would have to buy-in…

BOVINE TB

Video: Farmers living on the frontline of bovine TB

For farmers living in a high-risk area, bovine TB has a huge financial and emotional impact. We visit two farms in south-west Wales which have endured long-term breakdowns. Stephen and…

Practical advice

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PIGS

Top tips to pass a pig farm assurance scheme audit

While regular audits are routine on UK pig farms, some pork producers can expect more frequent visits in future after Red Tractor introduced tougher compliance standards. Red Tractor assured pig…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

4 common Johne’s mistakes and how to avoid them

Major progress has been made with Johne’s disease control on dairy units, but there are still common on-farm errors, according to veterinary surgeon Peter Orpin, director of Park Vet Group,…

POULTRY

A poultry producer's guide to red mite control

It may be considered to be a “belt and braces” approach, but effectively tackling the tenacious red mite it requires a stringent three-pronged approach at turnaround. Every poultry producer knows…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Erysipelas in pigs: detection, treatment and prevention

Erysipelas is a bacterial infection of pigs that usually causes red lesions on the skin, fever, depressed appetite and in some cases, arthritis, reproductive issues and septicemia. Quick and effective…

PIGS

4 early signs of tail biting to watch for on pig farms

Once a tail-biting outbreak happens, it can be hard to control. Identifying the early signs of tail biting and knowing how to act upon them can help prevent it. Keeping…

LAMBING

16 ways to reduce lamb mortality

Adequate, high-quality colostrum for lambs, provided in the first few hours of life, is essential to cutting losses. Emily Gascoigne, a specialist sheep vet with the Synergy Farm Health practice,…

Insights

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Meat eaters or vegetarians: Who has the better arguments?

Almost exactly a year ago, renowned environmentalist George Monbiot addressed a debate at the Oxford Farming Conference on the motion “This house believes that, by 2100, meat eating will be…

PARASITIC DISEASES

Video: How farmers are uniting to eradicate sheep scab

Sheep scab is a huge problem and if left untreated can affect a sheep's health and severely impact a sheep business. One mite is enough to spread the disease and…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

Why dairy farmers should tackle Johne's now

In less than two weeks (by 31 October) farmers supplying purchasing members of the National Johne’s Management Plan (NJMP) – which represents 82% of the UK supply – will need…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Blood test could predict if cattle will develop disease

Blood testing female dairy calves for molecules in the blood – called microRNAs – could help predict their likelihood of developing disease, scientists say. Scientists have found the blood levels…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

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…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

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…

BOVINE TB

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…

BOVINE TB

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…

BOVINE TB

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…