Cattle Health Initiative Launched at Spring Show

UK - A cattle health initiative, based in the North East, is being launched at the Aberdeen Spring Show, being held at Thainstone, Inverurie today.
calendar icon 25 February 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The initiative’s first target is to combat the growing problem of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), a disease which can cause major financial losses in cattle herds.

The Cattle Health Improvement Plan (Scotland), or CHIPS for short, looks to establish a partnership between farmers and vets in tackling the disease. CHIPS is managed by a steering group formed from farmers, NFU Scotland and the health schemes run by Hi-Health and SAC. It has the backing of several auctioneers – ANM Group and United Auctions – as well as organisations such as Quality Meat Scotland, Scottish Beef Cattle Association and National Beef Association (Scotland).

The steering group chair, Charlie Adam, from Braeside, Cushnie, Alford said: “CHIPS is a platform for farmers to help themselves on a disease that we know can hit cattle health and profitability hard. This is a farmer-friendly initiative that provides all cattle producers in the North East with an opportunity to work with their local vet to identify if BVD is a problem on their farm, and then, if necessary, put a plan in place to control the disease through testing and vaccination. For producers to take the first step towards dealing with BVD, we would ask them to register their interest with their veterinary practice.

“The benefits of tackling BVD head on in this manner are many. Better herd health leads to better animal performance and productivity. For those who sell stock either for breeding or finishing, then they are increasing the marketability of their animals as more and more buyers are demanding cattle of known BVD status.

“The North East’s reputation for quality beef production is second to none and this positive health plan will generate benefits for both breeders and finishers of cattle and help to protect our hard-won reputation.”

NFU Scotland Vice-president Nigel Miller added:

“This launch is hugely important for the nation. It can boost cattle production in a region that is a cornerstone of the Scottish beef industry and it can also be a critical step towards the development of a higher health status for the whole national herd. Orkney and Shetland have led the way in controlling BVD, farmers in Argyll and other areas have made a start, but a major take up by North East cattlemen could provide the momentum to move Scotland towards BVD freedom.”


Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) by clicking here.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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