2015-09-07   facebooktwitterrss

CHeCS Health Standards includes Standardised Pen Cards

The Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHeCS) scheme for UK and Ireland has updated its technical manual for 2015.

As well as revising some of the details around control and management of individual diseases, it includes sample layouts for Individual Health Declarations or ‘pen cards’ for the first time, enabling the vendor to display cattle health status to the purchaser in a standardised, easily-recognisable format.

Standardised Pen Card

Standardised Pen Card

Shetland vet Hilary Burgess MRCVS, who led the review this year, says the co-operation across the sector which enables CHeCS to maintain clear and up-to-date standards has been very successful in helping maintain and improve the health, welfare and profitability of members’ herds. However, it is important to keep reviewing and improving the scheme annually.

“For the first time this year, pen cards have been included in the document. The sample layouts provided will enable the vendor to display health status and ensure that the purchaser has health information readily available in an easily recognisable format,” says Hilary.

“The section of the technical document which requires herds to declare any confirmed disease, or screening results, for diseases in which they are enrolled on a CHeCS programme, has also been revised. This rule ensures that the information displayed on pen cards accurately reflects herd status.”

CHeCS executive director Tim Brigstocke says experts from all nine health schemes involved review the CHeCS technical document on an annual basis to ensure it reflects the latest understanding in control of the diseases BVD, IBR, Leptospirosis and Johne’s Disease. Neospora has also been included on the CHeCS ‘list’ within the past 12 months – the first time a new disease has been added for 15 years.

Tim says:
“These new sample pen card layouts can be adopted by the individual health schemes and will clearly show the status for each of these diseases – with the exception of Neospora, for which there is no national control programme in place. However, TB is included on the card, to dovetail with the testing and control measures in place across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Scotland remains officially TB-free.

“It is also important to note that individual animals that are not from CHeCS-accredited herds can still be sold with a pen card; however the column containing the Herd Accreditation boxes will be blank,” he explains.

An estimated 15% of herds across the UK, representing 150,000 cattle, are now in a CHeCS-accredited cattle health scheme.


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