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15 February 2024

Welcome to the first RH&W newsletter of 2024
Our important work continues with our focus now on developing a beef welfare strategy with the working group as well as progressing the welfare goals identified in the dairy and sheep strategies through 2024.

As mentioned in my last newsletter, the strength of collaboration across the industry has been phenomenal and is much needed with the difficult challenge facing the ruminant sector in BTV-3, the latest strain of bluetongue.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Norfolk farmers bluetongue meeting on 15 January and has been helping to promote the AHDB technical webinars looking at BTV as well as Schmallenberg so far.
Access to sign up to the next technical bluetongue meeting, recordings from past webinars and FAQ’s from all the events held so far, are all accessible on our RH&W bluetongue hub.

[Correction from Gwyn Jones – apologies for any confusion with a link previously shared, the Defra BVD scheme is not yet live]
I visited DairyTech on the 7th of February. It was very well attended and it’s an excellent event to meet many people from the dairy industry and hold a few short face to face meetings. I spoke at the ‘Dairy Hub’, where I outlined government plans on the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) eradication scheme which will be launched later this year. It is three-year voluntary scheme where farmers will receive payment for blood testing and if the disease is found to be present, a PI hunt in the herd.

Farmers will be eligible for both monitoring or disease eradication, if found, for the three years and then legislation will arrive which will ensure that all farmers in England (as they do in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) will need to carry out the same without payment.

I would encourage all farmers, beef and dairy to register on the Defra Pathway programme and also then register on the BVD eradication scheme and take full advantage of the money on offer in the next three years.

As ever, if you would like to join the working group or support the strategies, or have feedback for the group, please email

Gwyn Jones

View the Welcome to Ruminant Health Jan  2024 newsletter

  • Bluetongue advice for farmers
  • New and old ways to reduce farm emissions
  • Methane report
  • Importance of exploring all abortions
  • 2024 lambing survey now live
  • Update from Control Of Worms Sustainably (COWS)
  • Now in force – vet attestation compliance for export
  • Other news from the industry

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