Scotland’s livestock representatives have agreed
a common, industry-wide cattle health declaration form, to improve
the consistency of information provided to buyers.
Until now, many different formats have existed for cattle health
declarations, all trying to convey the same information. Different
breed societies had their own declarations and some individual
sellers also created their own individual formats. An all industry
stakeholder group, made up of representatives from breed societies,
auction marts, producer organisations, vet bodies, health scheme
providers, and facilitated and organised by NFU Scotland, met
in mid December at Ingliston in an attempt to simplify the whole
Nigel Miller, Chairman of the NFU Scotland Livestock Committee
and a former vet, said:
“In a huge step forward for all those involved in the
cattle industry, UK wide, we have all agreed upon one overarching ‘hybrid’ template
which can be used across the industry.
“This will go a long way towards simplifying the cattle
buying process by making health information easier to interpret.
“Cattle health certificates are becoming more and more
important and are a great way of adding value within the industry.
There may well come a time when health declarations are compulsory.
“It is therefore a superb achievement that this diverse
group of stakeholders has managed to share expertise and achieve
a common goal. Many people have gone to a great amount of effort
and I think that should be recognised. I am particularly proud
that NFU Scotland set the ball rolling and facilitated the consultation
and final round of meetings.”
David Leggat of United Auctions said:
“We wholeheartedly welcome this development which is the
culmination of a great deal of time and effort.
“In a market sense, there was some confusion caused by
the presence of various different, formal and informal, declaration
forms in the past.
“This new all encompassing form will, I’m sure,
be the catalyst to a greater understanding of cattle health and
as it is crucial that awareness of health issues increases as
we near the resumption of beef exports, this development has
come at a crucial time.”
Tim Brigstocke, Executive Director of CHeCS, said:
“This is a significant development in the effective usage
of cattle health information. Buyers of pedigree stock will,
for the first time, be able to thoroughly verify the health status
of a particular animal. This will give a much needed boost to
the importance of raising the profile of disease status which
will be absolutely vital as we move forward in the 21st century.”
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