Farmers should get paid to deliver animal welfare outcomes, vets say

May 14, 2018

The British Veterinary Association has urged government to deliver its promises of an animal welfare stewardship programme to financially support farmers. Earlier this year, the government recognised animal health and welfare as public goods. It spoke of the possibility of introducing pilot schemes to offer payments to farmers who deliver welfare outcomes. However, the BVA said more detail is needed on the schemes that will see these public goods incentivised. The veterinary industry body has recommended the use of an animal welfare stewardship programme to financially support animal welfare as a public good, alongside further development of farm assurance schemes. The government has in the past spoken about proposals to pilot schemes that offer payments to those farmers who deliver welfare outcomes that are higher than the legislative minimum and to introduce schemes that reward new approaches to improve welfare outcomes that are not industry standard. The BVA proposes a programme that would be based on the principles of environmental stewardship schemes, which reward land management practices that benefit the... ...

Read More

Animal health training vital for local farmers

Apr 30, 2018

Farmers throughout Papua New Guinea lack training and awareness on animal health disease surveillance. This concern was raised by PNG UNRE animal science lecturer Charles Maika recently during his presentation “animal health disease surveillance and its importance in PNG” at a weekly seminar attended by staff and students of the university. Mr Maika said in the past PNG was isolated and as a result the country was free from some of the diseases that affected the livestock of other countries, but this has now changed. There is an increase in people’s movement, trade agreements with other countries, high demand for livestock production in the country, and moreover it is difficult to monitor the country’s boarder areas. “Because of PNG’s location – Indonesia on the west, Solomon Islands on the east and Australia on the south – it is vulnerable to diseases,” Maika explained. Mr Maika said because of these factors, farmers critically need training and awareness to understand the signs and movement of diseases, whom to report it to and... ...

Read More

Bayer partners World Farmers’ Organisation to launch global Care4Cattle grant to advance cattle well-being

Mar 26, 2018

Global Care4Cattle initiative offers €30,000 in support of innovative thinking towards enhancing cattle well-being on farm level.   Every day livestock professionals around the world demonstrate their remarkable commitment to ensuring the well-being and health of the animals in their care. In support of their dedication, Bayer has launched a €30,000 global Care4Cattle initiative towards recognizing innovative thinking in advancing animal well-being, in partnership with the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO).   Animal well-being is synonymous with good welfare, which relates to both the physical health and mental well-being of the animal. Improvements in animal well-being are an on-going process and they require collaboration and commitment. The Care4Cattle initiative offers supportive grants to livestock veterinarians, farmers and scientists who are working to further enhance dairy and beef cattle well-being in innovative and practice-oriented ways on farm level.   Dirk Ehle, Head of Animal Health from Bayer said: “Care4Cattle is our next exciting contribution to advancing animal well-being and we are pleased to partner with the World Farmers’ Organisation. Through Care4Cattle, we... ...

Read More

Denmark to build a fence to keep out ASF

Mar 26, 2018

New measures aim to protect the country’s pig herds  Denmark is set to build a 70km fence along the border with Germany to reduce the risk of African swine fever (ASF) reaching the country’s pig herds. An outbreak of ASF would prompt an immediate shutdown of all exports to third countries, worth DKK 11 billion (£1.29 billion). Pig exports to other EU member states would not be affected, except for exports from the affected part of Denmark. “A fence will keep potentially infected wild boars from crossing the border and make it easier for hunters to eradicate wild boards from Denmark,” said Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish minister for environment and food. The fence will require new legislation and is expected to be 1.5 metres tall, dug 50cm into the ground. Cattle grids or gates will be established on footpaths that cross the border, and it will still be possible to drive across, in accordance with the Schengen Agreement. This is one of a number of initiatives to prevent ASF spreading... ...

Read More

New smart sensor to help farmers spot lameness in sheep

Feb 26, 2018

A smart wearable device that can automatically detect lameness in sheep is being developed by veterinary researchers at the University of Nottingham and industry partners Intel and Farm Wizard. Lameness is the biggest health and welfare problem on sheep farms, costing the sector around £80m a year. More than 90 per cent of farmers in the UK report lameness in their flocks, most of which is caused by footrot, a bacterial infection. If spotted early enough in individual sheep, cases can be treated which in turn can prevent the problem spreading in the flock. The new technical feasibility study and prototype tagging and monitoring system has been developed by Nottingham Vet School researcher, Associate Professor Jasmeet Kaler, with Intel and Farm Wizard. Dr Kaler said: “Our new system is a smart device – a wearable technology that we hope will be a game-changing investment for sheep farmers and a first for the industry. It consists of a sensing device worn on a sheep’s ear tag that gathers accelerometer and gyroscope data... ...

Read More