NOAH has launched the Livestock Vaccination Guideline, providing support to vets, SQPs and farmers, to help improve the health and welfare of UK sheep and cattle and support farm resilience and sustainable improvements in productivity.
Preventing and controlling disease on farm has never been more important, in the face of new agriculture policies, evolving disease challenges, new trading arrangements and the urgent need to meet environmental sustainability goals in response to climate change. Healthier animals mean better welfare and more sustainable farming. A preventative health approach for UK livestock, supported through vaccination, is an integral part of achieving this.
The new NOAH guideline brings together current veterinary clinical experience and research to demonstrate a proactive, best practice approach to vaccination in the dairy, beef and sheep sectors. The guideline encourages discussion between vets and farmers to help them apply effective vaccination strategies on farm, catalysing change to ensure that the benefits from livestock vaccination are realised.
At the launch of the guideline Dawn Howard, Chief Executive of NOAH, along with the authors of the guidance, Jonathan Statham, Fiona Lovatt and Joe Henry, discussed the importance of an effective livestock vaccination strategy, and how vaccines must be utilised to their best advantage to keep our animals and ourselves, healthy.
This NOAH Guideline supports UK animal health and welfare ambitions, food security and safety and advances the competitiveness of the produce from our livestock. The Livestock Vaccination Guideline is available here.
Dawn Howard, Chief Executive of NOAH said:
“Prevention of disease is at the heart of NOAH’s vision for animal health and welfare in UK farming and our Livestock Vaccination Guideline aims to ensure that those who make decisions about animal health and vaccination across the industry and on the farm have access to best practice guidance.
“We are focusing on priority diseases and those conditions where increased uptake of vaccination can make a real difference to the level of disease across animal populations.
“This will not only help improve health and welfare on individual farms but also help raise health and welfare levels across the whole country, meaning UK farming will be better equipped to provide safe, high-quality and nutritious food, while also delivering the environmental benefits from healthier animals.
“Livestock vaccination can be complex, but provides huge benefits, not just for animal health and welfare, but also has a positive impact on food, economic and job security in the UK. Having the right tools, medicines and technology to provide adequate prevention, diagnostics, monitoring and treatment has never been more important.
“We would like to thank Jonathan Statham, Fiona Lovatt and Joe Henry for their extensive work in bringing together the insight and expertise needed for this comprehensive document.
“As well as helping ensure the vaccines we have available today are used most effectively, NOAH members are working on pioneering new vaccines for existing diseases, including those which can help against disease that may develop in the future, benefiting not only animals, but also humans.”
Jonathan Statham, Chair of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England said:
“Vaccination can have a major positive impact on animal health and welfare, One Health and sustainable farming, but how well is the true potential of vaccination really being harnessed and how can we improve our current approach? To answer this question requires a fresh and challenging review of current practice, which is what this guideline aims to achieve.”
Fiona Lovatt, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recognised specialist in sheep health said:
“The last couple of years have demonstrated the key importance of vaccination as a tool to ensure good human health. In a similar way, vaccination has a vital role to play in terms of ensuring good health, welfare, productivity and sustainability of our livestock herds and flocks.”
Joe Henry, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recognised advanced practitioner said:
“Vaccination has many roles to play in delivering more profitable, sustainable, and higher welfare beef production, from helping to achieve good fertility in beef cows to reducing the impact of disease in calves, ranging from slow growth rates, morbidity and mortality.”