A series of regional workshops have been set up to help official veterinarians (OVs) explore key issues to help farms remain free from bovine TB.

The evidence-based, one-day workshops have been organised by veterinary CPD company Improve International and funded by Defra.

cows
“The role of the OV in ensuring farmers have the knowledge and support to protect their herds is vital.” Image courtesy Improve International.

The courses are designed to help English OVs in delivering TB advice to their clients and ensure they are up to date with new resources introduced to support the TB eradication plan.

TB resources

The new resources include:

  • the TB Hub
  • farm data packs
  • the TB Advisory Service
  • cattle health certification standards (CHeCS)

The TB Hub is an information website for beef and dairy farmers while the TB Advisory Service, to be launched in England early next year, will support farmers whose herds are affected by TB.

CHeCS is the self-regulatory body for cattle health schemes in the UK and Ireland and will include TB as one of the monitored diseases. Farm data packs will be sent to all farms with new TB breakdowns from October 2016.

Vital support

Sue Hay, head of practical skills at Improve International, said: “The effects of a bTB outbreak on a farm can be devastating, so the role of the OV in ensuring farmers have the knowledge and support to protect their herds is vital.

“Defra has funded these workshops to help English TB OVs understand current Government policy and give them further information on the new initiatives, which are being introduced to support the TB eradication plan.

“The tutors will help OVs know what to ask – and how to ask it – when addressing bTB advice with farmers, and will introduce a new app, which has been developed to record the findings of a TB advisory visit and produce a clear report for the farmer.”

Fully accredited

Accredited by Improve International’s assessment partner the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies, workshops will be led by course tutors Jo Wheeler, a TB epidemiologist with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, and James Russell, a director of a mixed practice and member of the BCVA board.

The workshops will take place between November 2016 and February 2017 in five venues around the UK and are supported with online learning resources.

For more information on the workshops or to book, telephone the Improve OV line on 03302 020 380, email enquiries@improve-ov.com or visit Improve International’s webpage on TB Farm Advice Workshops.

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