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Stackyard News Oct 06

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    Cattle Health and Welfare Strategy Council about to emerge

An unprecedented cross-UK/Republic of Ireland agreement by the cattle sectors is being developed so the cattle industry can establish a first ever, nationwide, strategy for health and welfare - and the new Cattle Health and Welfare Strategy Council (CHAWSC) which will plan the work meets for the first time in December.


The need for a uniform approach became obvious after farmers, vets and other specialists, became worried about the confusion and duplication caused by unstructured emergence of uncoordinated cattle health initiatives.

It was the National Beef Association's Cattle Health Committee that first suggested the establishment of an all-UK, industry owned and farmer based, council that could work with governments to establish common principles and structures.

And the concept was able to be taken forward after the National Office for Animal Health (NOAH) and Defra agreed to fund the administration of a steering group drawn from all sectors of the UK's beef and dairy supply chains.

It confirmed that a collaborative approach was urgently needed so farmers and vets in all countries could work to an agreed set of principles to improve the health and welfare of the national herd.

Advancement of the project was boosted because other EU countries have already adopted a collaborative approach to cattle industry management and the UK was falling behind in the adoption of national programmes for the control or eradication of endemic diseases.

It was agreed that the formation of CHAWSC would assist this process by encouraging direct action at farm level as well as informing governments of the needs of the industry.

Each meeting will be held at a different location and the host country will provide the chair for the meeting. The first CHAWSC meeting will be held in Scotland.

Its first task will be to pull together the cattle health initiatives operating in each country. This will help to identify the benefits achieved by different programmes and highlight those that could be taken up on a cross-UK/ROI basis as well as identify areas which still need to be addressed.

Representation on the council are still to be confirmed but a core group has been selected including a nominee from British Cattle Veterinary Association and others from Wales, Scotland and England. Members from Northern Ireland, which will work in partnership with the Republic of Ireland (ROI), are expected to join the Council later.

link Impossible for eight per cent of Irish farms to produce 50 per cent of beef
link Credibility of UK's farm assurance programme undermined by cavalier attitudes in Republic of Ireland
link Bord Bia continues to deny farm assurance problems

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