New Year, New Challenges

Friars Moor Livestock Health would like to wish all of our clients a very Happy New year and hope for a prosperous 2024. 2024 looks to be an exciting year for us, with the opening of our Closworth branch this month, and with building work storming on at West Stour, 2024 will also see the farm team move premises.

2023 started with some of the highest milk prices seen historically, but closed somewhat lower. That looks set to rise a bit in the coming months but is no doubt likely to fluctuate somewhere below the early 2023 prices. This brings it challenges, as do various industry initiatives such as the Red Tractor ‘green module’ and changing structures for farm payments. We would encourage everyone to sign up for funding through the animal health and welfare pathway, which is now available to non-BPS claimants and can be used towards a huge range of performance and health related investigations on farm. We always try to stay abreast and ahead of such curves and continue to think about the current and future pressures on the agricultural industry and how these will shape veterinary businesses.

A reduction in sheep scanning results in our area have indicated that our sheep farmers may be facing challenges this spring. Some may be due to vector borne disease such as Blue tongue and Schmallenberg, which are undoubtably linked to warmer winters that we seem to be experiencing and aided by both insect migration and animal movements. If you are experiencing more than 2% empty at scanning or seeing evidence of reabsorptions, then talk to your vet about infectious disease testing. In 2023 APHA offered a range of surveillance testing on aborted foetuses and we expect there to be similar available in spring 2024.

If you sell animals for meat that will end up in export trade then from February 2024 you will require a VAN number. This involves a vet visit and some paperwork to inspect the entirety of your flock or herd for signs of disease. If you are a Red Tractor member, then this is not required.


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