At the end of 2005, Scotland’s livestock representatives
agreed a common, industry-wide cattle health declaration form,
aimed at improving the consistency of information provided to buyers,
the launch of which took place yesterday.
Previously, many different formats had 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. To simplify
the whole process, an all industry stakeholder group, facilitated
by NFU Scotland and made up of representatives from breed societies,
auction marts, producer organisations, vet bodies and health scheme
providers worked together to create one all encompassing form.
Nigel Miller, Chairman of the NFU Scotland Livestock Committee
and a former vet, said:
“It is in the interest of all individual livestock keepers
to reduce the risk of introducing any disease into his or her animals
and in the interest of the industry as a whole to prevent the spread
of disease should it occur.
“Cattle health certificates are therefore increasingly important
and are a great way of adding value within the industry. It seems
likely that there will come a time when health declarations are
“It is therefore a superb achievement that this diverse
group of stakeholders has managed to share expertise and create
this superior and more easily interpreted health declaration form.
“Buying in animals carries a risk of introducing disease
and the source of replacement livestock influences the degree of
risk. The Scottish Cattle Health Declaration will help buyers assess
the relative risk of buying individual animals at the sales by
providing specific disease-related information. Using this information
will help to safeguard livestock health.
“This step forward will also progress the industry as a
whole, potentially further improving the health status and reputation
of Scottish produce and in turn helping to boost trade figures
and prices. The real advantage lies in the fact that both buyers
and sellers will benefit - sellers from added value and buyers
from assured performance and disease avoidance.”
Ross Finnie, Environment and Rural Development Minister, said:
“We are committed to protecting and improving the health
and welfare of livestock in Scotland. The Animal Health and Welfare
Strategy emphasises the critical role of partnership in progressing
this aim. The cattle health conference in May 2005 was successful
in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders.
“The Scottish Cattle Health Declaration is a tangible and
practical outcome from discussions at the conference and I congratulate
NFU Scotland for encouraging its development from concept to reality.
It will help farmers to deliver strong biosecurity and improvements
to the health and welfare of Scottish livestock, and help maintain
sustainable livelihoods for Scottish farmers.”
- Stakeholders in the series of meetings were: National Beef
Association, Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society, British Limousin
Cattle Society, British Veterinary Association, Quality Meat
Scotland, Scottish Agricultural College, HI Health, Biobest,
Moredun, United Auctions & CHeCS.
- CHeCS is a cross-industry
body set up by the NBA, National Cattle Association (Dairy),
Holstein UK and British Cattle Veterinary Association to make
sure that all cattle health schemes operating in the UK are working
to common standards.
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