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Farm Animal Practice
Developing health plans for the dairy herd
  1. Richard Sibley

    Richard Sibley is the director of a nine‐vet mixed practice in mid‐Devon. He is a past‐president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) and a founder member of its farm assurance group. He was involved in the creation of the BCVA principles of veterinary involvement in farm assurance and the formulation of the BCVA herd health plan for farm assurance.


PLANNING for health is becoming an important element of modern dairy farming. As dairy farmers strive for further efficiency in production, driven by market economics, the risks and consequences of poor health and suboptimal production become greater. UK dairy farmers have increased efficiency by 10 per cent over the past 10 years, mainly by increasing yields and herd size, and through better business planning. There has never been a more opportune time to develop health plans on dairy farms. The key, as this article emphasises, is that they need to be practical and effective.

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