"Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep ’til noon." Mark Twain
The uplift in cattle prices of recent weeks slowed in week ended 11th May read more
With more new season lambs entering the market, the dynamics of the trade have started to change read more
Provisional data for April milk deliveries of approximately 1,111m litres are 93m litres (7.7%) down on the previous year read more
In April, the DAPP averaged 160.9p/kg, almost 4p up on the month. At the same time, the average retail price came down by a small amount read more
The GB weekly average price fell by £7.68/t to £295.35/t and the free-buy average fell by £22.02/t to £368.39/t. read more
The first USDA estimates for world production in 2013-14 forecast record maize and wheat production, citing larger planted areas and a rebound in yields from the US (maize) and the Former Soviet Union (wheat) read more
The USDA has released its first soyabean supply and demand estimates for the new season read more
UK malting barley export prices are at €245/t FOB (spring, South Coast) w/e 11th April. read more
The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on the activity of UK hatcheries and poultry slaughterhouses. read more
USDA’s latest quarterly stocks report, released on 28th September, estimated US maize stocks (at 1st September) at 25.1m t, down 12% on the same point in 2011 and the lowest since 2004. read more
UK veterinary sector changes with industry
Fewer, larger practices are good news for producers, Ken Sibley tells Chris Lyddon
The dairy sector has changed and continues to change. There are bigger units and fewer of them. Meanwhile, the supermarkets and food processors are putting more and more emphasis on animal health and welfare.
Over a coffee at the Dairy Event, I asked Ken Sibley MRCVS, business development manager of veterinary pharmaceutical company Virbac, how the animal health industry, and veterinary practice in particular, was changing to meet the new circumstances.
“What is happening at the moment is that farm animal veterinary practices are increasingly amalgamating into larger practices,” he stated.
“The number of specialist vets is not going down, but they are to be found in fewer practices now; they are creating specialist cattle practices,” explained Mr Sibley.
“These specialist cattle practices become involved as part of the management team on the farm and not only offer advice on disease prevention and control, but also on other areas of the food chain, including food safety and meeting the requirements of the animal welfare policies of the supermarket chains and milk processors.”
These specialist practices are certainly better placed to deal with the greater attention coming from the retailers.
“Supermarket chains and food processors are taking an increasing interest in animal health and welfare of farm livestock,” said Mr Sibley.
“At the moment, they are creating a focus on a few areas including mastitis control, lameness and Johne’s disease, but in the future more diseases and welfare issues will be added.
“These are likely to include further welfare issues such as dry cow and calf management as well as disease prevention, particularly those diseases that could be passed on to humans.
“Producers who do not match the required standards will have milk contracts cancelled or find it impossible to find a market for their milk.”
Animal health advice
“The old cliché that prevention is better than cure has never been more true,” he said.
The industry has to pay much more attention to biosecurity, he added, although he doesn’t like the word itself.
“The general public hate that word – it conjures up all sorts of images of people in white coats and chemicals,” he pointed out.
“Basically, what you are doing is trying to keep disease out of your herd as you would with your family.
“You wouldn’t invite people with a ghastly infectious disease into your house without taking some kind of precautions first.”
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