Measures to support livestock farmers in North West Durham have been welcomed by Richard Holden MP.
Speaking at the NFU’s annual conference this week, Environment Secretary, George Eustice, outlined how the Government will support livestock farmers in producing healthier, higher welfare animals, through financial assistance.
Farmers will be given funding for an annual visit from a vet of their choice to carry out diagnostic testing, review biosecurity and responsible use of medicines, and provide advice relating to the health and welfare of their animals. This will initially focus on pigs, cattle and sheep.
It will be a cash payment and farmers will be responsible for agreeing a rate with their vet. The payments rates will be: pigs at £684; sheep at £436; beef cattle at £522; and dairy cattle at £372.
This will pay for 2-3 hours of farmer and vet time to: look at the health and welfare of their animals, including biosecurity and responsible use of medicines; receive a report from the vet, which will include some achievable actions the farmer can take to improve health and welfare – this will not be shared with the Government, and is between the farmer and vet; advice on action to take resulting from testing; and signposting to other support, including future grants and disease control schemes.
Each Review will be bespoke and vets will also offer testing. The farmer and vet will decide how to prioritise their time.
Richard Holden MP said:
“I welcome the news that livestock farmers in North West Durham will be able to benefit from the support outlined this week, including the annual vet visit. This is a huge step forwards for farm profitability and animal welfare.”
Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:
“The British livestock industry is world-leading. We export animal genetics around the globe and have the highest standards of animal health and welfare. Too often farmers only call a vet when there is a crisis but with an annual vet visit to develop better animal health plans, they will see both animal welfare and their farm profitability will improve.”
“The Pathway is a chance to level-up opportunities for farmers across England – wherever they may be – and improve productivity outcomes through less disease, less reliance on antimicrobials, better accommodation for livestock and better husbandry. By fostering change and innovation through the Pathway, the Government expects to see benefits for farm productivity, food security, public health, animal health and welfare, the environment and trade.”