Cross-industry organisations launch Calf Health campaign

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The cattle antibiotics group, which the NFU is part of, has launched a new cross-industry initiative to improve calf health, with the aim of encouraging more farmers to engage in proactive health planning.

The Calf Health campaign, which runs until 26 October, covers all parts of the beef and dairy calf production systems and will focus on three key areas:

  • Identification and appropriate treatment
  • Review planning
  • Disease prevention.

NFU dairy board vice chairman, and member of the antibiotics group, Paul Tompkins said:

“Calf health is of utmost importance to beef and dairy farmers and undertaking a proactive approach to health planning is key to minimising any threats of disease.

“Rearing calves can pose many challenges – from colostrum management to the transition from unit to unit – so it is important to think ahead and have a strategy in place to be able to successfully deal with and prevent ill health.

“It is fantastic to see so many cross-industry organisations come together in support of this campaign and provide an initiative that will benefit farmers, their businesses and their animals.” 

Veterinary surgeon and consultant Tim Potter, also a member of the antibiotics group, said:

“Taking simple proactive steps to maximise health can ensure calf welfare and performance while helping to reduce the need for antibiotic use on farm.”

The cattle antibiotics group, which covers both beef and dairy, includes:

  • The National Farmers’ Union (NFU)
  • The National Farmers' Union Cymru (NFU Cymru)
  • National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS)
  • Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU)
  • Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW)
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)
  • British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA)
  • Red Tractor
  • Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA)
  • Dairy UK
  • National Office of Animal Health (NOAH)

The group has worked to produce the calf health campaign with support from RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance)

The group was established following the RUMA Targets Task Force report launched in October 2017. The group has worked on a strategy and formulated an action plan to encourage the responsible use of antibiotics in cattle.

Find out more about the campaign here.

Use the hashtag #CalfHealth on social media to show your support for the campaign.

Last edited on: 09:10:2018

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