Welsh farmers wanted for animal health project

The five-year animal health programme aims to drive the Welsh farming industry forward
The five-year animal health programme aims to drive the Welsh farming industry forward

Beef and sheep farmers are wanted before the end of July for a pioneering project aimed at improving animal health and on-farm efficiency.

The project, Stoc+, is one of three that form part of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’s (HCC) £9.2 million Red Meat Development Programme.

Announced last year, the five-year programme aims to drive the industry forward and help Welsh farming prepare for a post-Brexit world.

A cohort of 80 red meat producers have already signed-up for Stoc+ which is encouraging farmers and vets to collaborate to compile, review and enact proactive flock and herd health plans.

HCC is now inviting more farmers from across Wales to get involved.

“There are a number of reasons why farmers should get involved in Stoc+,” said HCC’s Flock and Herd Health Executive, Dr Rebekah Stuart.

“Following an initial collection of farm baseline data, the benefits include a free flock and herd health plan, action plan and biosecurity plan for the farm as well as regular vet review visits.

“Proactively preventing on-farm diseases in herds and flocks, maximising the health and performance of livestock and targeting interventions effectively to reduce costs will eventually lead to increased profitability and sustainability for the farming business.”

She added: “This is a long-term project, with support available for up to three years. Interested farmers simply need to visit the HCC website between 15-31 July and fill in a short form to express their interest in taking part.”

The project will enable farmers to investigate a problem and devise a way forward to reduce its effects on the farm.

Issues could range from a parasite problem on the farm, or tackle issues with fluke and look at ways of controlling it in an economic way.

Dr Stuart said: “There are lots of different things you could consider and there’s money available to facilitate that useful investigative and advice work to help your business become more profitable.”