The TB Advisory Service (TBAS) has launched an award to recognise farmers who work hard to protect their herds and reduce the risk of the disease.
As well as the individual recognition, TBAS Awards 2021 will act as a showcase for the industry which goes above and beyond what the government requires.
All too often, especially in the national media, farmers were criticised for not doing enough to prevent TB, a spokeswoman explained.
“We want to show everyone that this is not the case. Farmers, as always, are rising to the challenge and are eager to embrace change for the better to future-proof their businesses,” she added.
The advisory service is encouraging farmers from across the UK to enter by nominating colleagues or themselves. It suggests that entries could come from farms which have developed a novel approach to keeping out the disease, such as badger-proof water troughs.
Alternatively, it could be a management change such as a rethink on breeding plans to reduce the impact TB would have on the business.
Or maybe a change to buying practices that reduce the chances of bringing TB on to the farm.
“We want the simple stuff and the more elaborate – to show just how resourceful and innovative farmers and advisers can be,” the spokeswoman said.
There are five categories:
- Dairy farmer, sponsored by Arla
- Suckler farmer, sponsored by the Suckled Beef Producers Association
- Calf rearer/beef finisher, sponsored by Sell My Livestock
- Innovator, sponsored by the National Farmers Union
- On Farm Adviser, sponsored by VetPartners
Entries will be judged by a high-profile and experienced panel.
- Stuart Roberts, NFU deputy president
- James Wood, TB epidemiologist and co-contributor to the Godfray review
- Nikki Hopkins, farm vet and British Cattle Veterinary Association president
- Andy Robertson, badger ecologist and TBAS technical board member.
How to enter
Entry forms are available on the TBAS website
Entries close on 31 December
What is TBAS?
TBAS provides free, bespoke advice to cattle keepers in the High Risk and Edge Areas of England. Consultants from TBAS are available to give advice by telephone or during an on-farm visit covering all aspects of TB, including wildlife ecology, biosecurity, building design, movements and trading. The service is funded by Defra through the Rural Development Programme for England.