On the Way: The Animal Health Pathway 

Submitted by bcvaadmin2 on Fri, 25/02/2022 - 12:49

The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway is set to launch this Spring and this week saw the publication of an updated pre-launch policy paper, outlining critical part the Pathway will play in the farming reforms set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, which aims to ‘deliver benefits for animal health and welfare, farm productivity, food security, public health, UK trade and the environment’.


Cattle Priorities

Health and welfare priorities for each farming sector are indicated in the policy document. For beef and dairy these include:

  • Tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea which costs the industry between £14-36 million per year and raises greenhouse gas emissions from cattle
  • Reduce lameness and mastitis to improve health and welfare, increase productivity and decrease the environmental impacts of farming
  • Upgrade housing: many farm buildings are not optimally designed for cattle, especially calves - we will encourage improvements in ventilation, cow comfort, loafing areas and enrichments such as scratching brushes
  • Improve pain management during disbudding, dehorning and castration through greater adoption of prolonged analgesia to improve the welfare and performance of calves
  • Improve the welfare of cattle at pastures through improvements in shelter, drainage, gateways and tracks that support the normal behaviours associated with grazing and being outdoors



See Spring’s Cattle Quarterly – out this April

Professor Jonathan Statham is a cattle vet, BCVA Past President, and Chair for England’s Animal Health and Welfare Board. He has been working with Defra to develop the new Animal Health Pathway and will outline what it means for our profession and our clients in the Spring edition of Cattle Quarterly, due out early April.