A way for sheep farmers to access cost-effective veterinary advice has been launched with the roll-out of Flock Health Clubs across the UK.

Supported by the Sheep Veterinary Society and the National Sheep Association, Flock Health Clubs are vet-facilitated discussion groups that allows farmers with smaller numbers of sheep to share the cost of veterinary advice while maintaining regular, good quality contact with sheep-interested vets.

Increased involvement

Flock Health Clubs flyer
The forthcoming series of events will include training in how to start up and run a Flock Health Club within your practice.

The pilot programme proved it to be an effective model, with vets involved reporting improved relationships with sheep farmers through more regular contact, an increase in the veterinary involvement and a steady income via monthly club subscriptions from the farmer members.

Fiona Lovatt, director of Flock Health – the sheep veterinary consultancy business that created the model – said: “Sheep farmers really value quality advice given by keen sheep vets, but there is often a belief it is too costly to get their vet involved.

“Historically, there has been quite a mismatch between the service vets provide and what their sheep farmer clients are prepared to pay for so, 15 months ago, we set up some pilot Flock Health Clubs at practices in the north-east and west of England.”

Official launch

Following the success of the pilot groups and with wide support from the sheep industry, the national Flock Health Club initiative was launched at the Sheep Veterinary Society conference in Skipton in May.

Delegates heard about the pilot scheme and great interest was shown in the CPD events running at venues around the UK to provide vets with the skills and inspiration needed to set up their own clubs.

CPD events will be held at the following dates and locations:

  • 22 June – Tiverton
  • 27 June – Penrith
  • 29 June – Swindon
  • 30 June – Sheffield
  • 13 July – Stirling
  • 28 July – Caersws

Each event will run from 1:30pm to 6pm and include a light meal. The cost is £97 per person or £82 for Sheep Veterinary Society members.

 

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