Veterinarian and animal health policy expert Grace O’Gorman NSch 2019 has published her Nuffield Farming report titled ‘Animal Medicine Best Practice: Unlocking the potential for UK farming’. Sponsored by AHDB, Grace’s report
“Livestock farmers are challenged to farm in more sustainable and productive ways, whilst staying in business,” Grace explains. “Consumers and Government want to know more about how medicines are used on farm and this scrutiny is set to intensify as farming is directly supported by the public purse. At the same time, the UK is on the cusp of trading in a world market outside of the EU block. These converging paths have raised the stakes and there is a need to take a fresh look at the national ambition for animal health and welfare and how it can deliver on all fronts for farmers and society.”
Grace outlines several recommendations for how the industry can address this challenge, including the establishment of a dedicated body for farm animal health and welfare led by the farming and veterinary sectors. Her other suggestions include policy and practical changes to areas of data, biosecurity, antibiotics, vaccination, parasite control and pain management.
“Building a resilient and sustainable farming system must be a priority. We are standing at a crossroads with new trading and regulatory environments, societal pressures on food, welfare, and the environment, all in sight. How we move forward will impact farm life, livestock and how food is produced for years to come,” she says.
Grace also presented her findings during the recent Nuffield Farming Virtual Mini-Conference Series. Her presentation can be seen on Nuffield Farming’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/qGcGotJxfWI.
- To understand the influencing factors on animal health and welfare that support animal medicine best practice
- To identify those strategies and actions that unlock opportunity through best practice
- To explore future possibilities for animal medicines in the UK
Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand
- Livestock farming supported by public money establishes a social contract placing expectations on health and welfare standards, professionalism, and medicine use. The livestock sector must be ready to recognise, apply and demonstrate best practice.
- Effective progress on animal health and welfare is needed to improve resilience and farm profitability, providing a competitive advantage. Delivering improvements at scale needs coordination and a strategy that spans the four nations.
- Widespread animal medicine best practice needs a model framework that uses both top down and bottom-up approaches, and considers the nature of veterinary services, effective use of data, diagnostics, biosecurity and training.
- An evidenced-based approach and international collaboration on the authorisation of animal medicines will support both the availability of medicines in the UK and the future development of innovative solutions.