Animal health is an important factor on farm for both welfare and productivity. QMS and the Scottish SPCA have a long history of working closely together with the aim of promoting and encouraging a high level of animal welfare in the Scottish livestock industry. Animal welfare is an important aspect of QMS’s quality assurance schemes and something which continues to be of increasing importance to consumers.
Health planning is a method of forward planning for any animal health issues. A plan should set out health and husbandry activities that cover the whole year's cycle of production, and include strategies to prevent, treat or limit existing disease problems. Animal health can also have economic implications through increased costs and reduced productivity.
There are some common productivity limiting diseases and parasites such as Johne’s and liver fluke which have been investigated through the Monitor Farm programme.
Parasite control is a key part of animal health planning on monitor farms with many community groups keen to find out more about how best to control external and internal parasites. The importance of forecasts was highlighted including the use of NADIS COWS and SCOPS websites for updates.