New animal health ambassador announced for Stoc+ project

An animal health project has welcomed a new veterinary ambassador to support proactive animal health planning on beef and sheep farms in Wales.

Stoc+, coordinated by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) bids to improve the overall health of Welsh flocks and herds and, ultimately, enhance animal health planning and boost production efficiency.

Stoc+ is one strand of the Red Meat Development Programme (RMDP) and is supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The project has adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by working remotely with meetings and visits being held on virtual platforms.

In his new role as a Stoc+ vet ambassador, Alun Evans (pictured top), who practices at Market Hall Vets, St. Clears, has been advising farmers on vaccination uses and best practice through online videos.

Alun Evans said: “Vaccinations against clostridial diseases are essential for beef and sheep farmers in Wales.

Unfortunately, one of the first signs of clostridial disease is sudden death and so knowing the best time to give vaccinations is key for a healthy herd or flock.

“Vaccinations are an important part of disease control, but there are other factors to consider such as the animal’s general health and specific antibodies of the disease.

“Cattle and sheep usually require two doses four to six weeks apart. Some immunity can be passed from ewe to lambs; however, protection is only offered for a short period of time, therefore, it is important to vaccinate the lambs and calves as they grow.”

Dr. Rebekah Stuart, HCC flock and herd health executive added: “Farmers who are part of the Stoc+ project are advised to keep their health plans updated and to follow the tailored vaccine timetable developed during the visits. For further advice, farmers should consider consulting their vet to discuss the best way forward.”