A new campaign to promote better control of four major diseases affecting the profitability of dairy farming has been launched, led by DairyCo.
BVD, Johne's Disease, lameness and mastitis were highlighted as the main diseases of concern by the campaign.
The initiative is the result of AHDB being awarded a number of tenders under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Skills Framework.
The campaign will deliver technical advice to farmers in groups or on a one-to-one basis. The project will fund 90 herd health seminars, 100 DairyCo Mastitis Control Plans and 180 farm vet visits under the DairyCo Healthy Feet Programme. Some events will be free to attend, while on-farm veterinary advice will attract 70% RDPE funding.
Advice on BVD and Johne’s Disease will cater for herds undertaking control measures, as well as farmers considering what steps to take for the first time. For BVD, the benefits of coordinating control will be promoted, supporting growing industry momentum towards a national BVD programme.
Ray Keatinge, DairyCo head of research and development, says, “As well as delivering immediate benefits to dairy levy payers, the project represents a progression from previous regionally based health and welfare projects, towards more coordinated delivery of improved animal health and welfare under the next phase of the Rural Development Programme (2015-2020).”
Sophie Throup, from XLVets Training Services Ltd who ran RDPE delivery for the BVD Free England project, says, “This next round of funding will build on the excellent work carried out on the previous RDPE-funded project last year where a clear enthusiasm for BVD control was demonstrated. While an enormous amount of data was collected, enabling us to map out the problem of BVD on farms across England, the new funding will help us continue to work across the industry to build on that knowledge and move forward, both in terms of educating farmers and informing BVD policies in the future.”
“Duchy College’s Rural Business School is delighted to see the national roll-out of its work piloted so successfully in the South West on the four major diseases affecting the profitability of milk production though Healthy Livestock. The Healthy Livestock team looks forward to working with DairyCo and its other regional delivery partners in ensuring the successful delivery of the project to benefit dairy farmers across the South West,” commented Paul Ward, the Rural Business School’s Healthy Livestock project manager.