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Farm Animal Practice
Challenges facing the UK cattle industry
  1. Basil Lowman

    Basil Lowman graduated from the University of Reading with a degree in agriculture in 1966. After completing his PhD in 1970, he moved to the Scottish Agricultural College as a specialist adviser on beef cattle. He is currently working to develop practical systems for producing homebred, high quality replacement heifers for suckler herds.


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.

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