Article Text

Farm Assurance
Farm assurance schemes - what is the veterinarian's role?
  1. David Main

    David Main graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1992. He gained a PhD from Bristol in 1997 and spent two years as a resident in farm animal health and welfare. He is now a part-time research associate at Bristol and offers consultancy services on farm assurance schemes. He holds RCVS certificates in veterinary radiology and in animal welfare science, ethics and law.

  2. Vince Cartledge

    Vince Cartledge obtained a degree in agriculture from Nottingham University in 1979 and a veterinary degree from Cambridge in 1985. He spent 10 years in mixed practice and is now actively involved in the development and implementation of the RSPCA's Freedom Food farm assurance schemes.


MANY industries in the UK have begun to develop quality assurance programmes. Farm assurance schemes provide assurances to the consumer on food safety, animal welfare and environmental issues. The veterinary profession has a vital role to play, both in the development of standards for these schemes and in their implementation. Veterinary practitioners are in an ideal position to provide advice to clients on compliance with legislation and scheme standards and veterinary involvement in written health and welfare programmes presents an opportunity for farmers and veterinary surgeons to clearly demonstrate proactive management of disease issues. Provided that veterinary surgeons can deliver cost-effective advice, these programmes should also improve production and welfare. In this article, David Main and Vince Cartledge describe how such schemes operate.

Statistics from

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.