Lantra is calling for all livestock veterinarysurgeons who provide services to farms across the West Midlands tosign up to a major farm health planning initiative.

Farm Health Planning InitiativeLandSkills West Midlands, managed by Lantra (the Sector Skills Council for environmental and land-based industries), is driving the initiative as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to improve livestock health and welfare and the competitiveness of the regions farming enterprises.

It will also work to assist the ongoing sustainability of veterinary service provision to the regions livestock farming industry.

LandSkills West Midlands programme manager, Emma Tregear, said: “Farmers will be able to receive funding for up to 80 per cent of their health planning costs via their veterinary surgeons until December 2011. This will help enable the veterinary surgeons to access individual farms to assess any constraints on productivity and then set up an action plan to remedy any problem areas.

“Farm health plans are a significant part of a much larger programme and will, along with other RDPE supported activities, bring a range of opportunities to livestock farms across the region to help them improve the health and welfare of their animals and enhance the profitability of their businesses. Applying to deliver farm health planning means veterinary surgeons will become part of a veterinary panel, which will allow them to deliver the grant-aided health planning service.”

To find out more about the initiative LandSkills are holding two introduction seminars for veterinary surgeons to highlight funding opportunities and to describe the application process. These will be held at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, on September 9 and Bishops Frome Village Centre, Herefordshire, on September 11, from 2pm 4.30pm.

BCVA honorary secretary Andrew Praill

Honorary secretary of BCVA, Andrew Praill, said: “The health planning initiative is a very worthwhile venture that will support livestock farming, and farmer/vet partnerships in the region now and into the future. The introductory events will give a good overview about the initiative but I would also recommend that if you have not recently attended one of the health planning training courses provided by BCVA then you should consider attending the latest herd health management courses, the first of which is in September. One of aims of the course is to overcome some of the barriers to veterinary surgeons engaging with their farm clients.”

To find out more, to get an application form or book your place at an introduction event, contact Lantra on 0845 707 8007, email LandSkillsWM@lantra.co.uk or visit www.lantra.co.uk/LandSkillsWestMidlands.

For details of the BCVA health planning training courses, visit www.bcva.org.uk.

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