The UK’s top vets have welcomed the latest state-of-the-industry report examining the health and welfare of cattle in Great Britain.

Cattle at sunset.
CHAWG was praised for “grasping the nettle” on how to capture data on AMR. IMAGE: fotolia/antbphotos.

According to the third biennial report from GB’s Cattle Health and Welfare Group (CHAWG), significant progress has been made across the areas of mastitis, lameness and longevity, while a summary of progress on endemic disease control shows advances have also been made in eradicating bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD).

For the first time the report also looked at the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the dairy and beef sectors.

Heartening

The CVOs of the UK, Scotland and Wales welcomed the findings in a joint foreword to the report.

Nigel Gibbens (UK), Sheila Voas (Scotland) and Christianne Glossop (Wales) said: “The healthier our animals, the more attractive our products. The better our animal welfare, the greater the confidence of consumers in our production systems.

“With the UK Government placing AMR at the top of its risk register alongside terrorism and pandemic flu, it is heartening to see CHAWG, in common with other livestock sectors, has grasped the nettle in looking at how the cattle sector can better capture data on use of antimicrobials.”

They added that addressing AMR helps assess other imperatives as an emphasis on sound animal husbandry and healthy animals kept to high welfare standards helps minimise routine reliance on antimicrobials.

Pivotal role

“Success in controlling endemic disease is one area of considerable importance, and here we can highlight CHAWG’s pivotal role in the development and promotion of national disease control programmes,” they said.

“These include the launch of the BVDFree scheme in England earlier this year, ongoing progress with BVD eradication in Scotland, the development of a Wales BVD scheme and the Action Johne’s initiative.”

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