OVER the past 20 years, the UK cattle industry has experienced a gradual decrease in the total number of breeding cows, an increasing proportion of which are beef cows. As these trends are set to continue, producers are having to realign their businesses in an attempt to improve profitability. While disease outbreaks, such as the recent foot-and-mouth epidemic, are unlikely to impact on these trends per se, they will nevertheless increase the rate of change seen within the marketplace. This article describes the dynamics of the cattle industry in the UK and discusses what implications the various underlying factors might have for veterinary practice.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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