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An introduction to Disease? Not on my farm!

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Paul Williams, MSD Animal Health UK technical manager for ruminants introduces the ‘Disease? Not On My Farm!’ programme and shares his top tips for getting started with disease prevention.

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A disease outbreak on farm is a nightmare for productivity, animal well-being and profit. It’s not just your outputs that are affected - treating disease can be expensive. The cost of BVD infection alone can amount to as much as £90 per dairy cow, per year and around £37 per beef cow, per year. (Source: Bennett (1999) – Vet Record 145 (1999) p376-377)


‘Disease? Not On My Farm!’ is working with farmers to build the momentum needed to achieve disease free farms. We’re challenging perceptions of how disease is spread and sharing advice and tips from farmers and vets alike.


We’ll be sharing the experiences of five farmer and vet teams throughout the coming months – our ‘Disease? Not On My Farm!’ ambassadors. Look out for their stories online and in Dairy Farmer and Farmers Guardian.

 

Disease? Not On My Farm! recommends three steps to achieve a disease-free farm:

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Assess

Herd health plan

 

Every farm is different, so a careful review of your situation is crucial. Sit down with your vet and assess the ways diseases can enter or leave your farm – you may also want to include diagnostic testing into your herd health plan to establish your herd status for common diseases.

Prevent

Prevent

 

To protect your herd against the known challenges, make changes to minimise biosecurity risks and establish a vaccination schedule. You can also create, or overhaul, your herd health plan; your vet can support you with this.

Improve

Improve

 

It is important to regularly review your herd health plan to be sure you’re not missing anything. Herds change, and so do diseases – so keeping things updated will mean you’re a step ahead of the next disease threat.

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