Farmers invited to tour research facility for Cattle Health Scheme anniversary

Northern Irish farmers have been granted a rare glimpse behind the scenes at one of the island’s top agricultural research facilities.

The open day comes as part of a series of events to celebrate 10 years of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute’s (AFBI’s) Cattle Health Scheme.

The Cattle Health Scheme aims to provide a structured approach to a healthier herd.

Scheme members have access to quick, cost-effective results – backed by expert advice – to improve cattle health and profitability.

Its aim is to create robust common standards to underpin the control and eradication of the main endemic cattle diseases in the UK and Ireland.

It includes Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD), Leptospirosis, Johne’s, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) and Neosporosis.

A farmer-focused event will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 15 at AFBI Hillsborough.

The event at AFBI’s Hillsborough facility will begin with a light lunch at 1:00pm, followed by short talks from a number of the most successful AFBI Cattle Health Scheme members as well as veterinary practitioner and past British Veterinary Cattle Association president Keith Cutler.

Cutler has a wealth of experience helping herd keepers in controlling and eradicating disease and making their farms more cost-efficient. These talks will be followed by a farm tour in AFBI Hillsborough.

The tour will focus on considerations around general biosecurity and Johne’s disease, including the calving environment, colostrum management and challenges in Johne’s herd screening.

AFBI Cattle Health Scheme staff will also be available for questions on the day.

AFBI is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Cattle Health Scheme

AFBI’s Veterinary Services Division (VSD), and its predecessor the Veterinary Research Laboratory, has provided animal health diagnostic services to government and farmers in Northern Ireland for over 90 years.

VSD veterinary staff have recognised expertise in the diagnosis and control of the diseases covered by the scheme.

In the interests of biosecurity, those attending are asked to wear clean clothing and footwear not previously worn while in direct contact with their own animals. Protective overalls and footwear will be provided.

To register for the event please go to AFBI’s Eventbrite page. Alternatively, people can call: 02890-525749, or email: [email protected]