Herd health is crucial to the success of a profitable farm. Keeping your animals in tiptop condition can be complex, from vaccinating your herd to maintaining a stress-free environment through strong biosecurity measures. But seeing your herd thrive, whether through increased milk production or healthy youngstock, is one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences for farmers.
Diseases such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) are endemic (or continuously circulating) in British herds, while others, such as Bluetongue, are resident in other countries but pose a serious threat to the UK periodically.
Infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi, and can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one animal to another. Find out more
Protecting the herd from these diseases is crucial to a farm’s success. A well thought through herd health plan is a vital first step towards preventing disease and striving to improve animal health and welfare.
A herd health plan should outline the disease status of the farm identifying the key challenges and areas of risk. It provides a framework for disease prevention strategies, such as vaccination, it outlines how existing issues are to be tackled and measured, and monitors animal health and productivity.
It can also provide a mechanism for improving biosecurity and management procedures. Building on these foundations not only leads to improved animal health and productivity, but increased profitability.