As of October 2019 the requirements for the Red Tractor Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme are changing, all of the old requirements are still in place, however there are some new requirements that it is important you are aware of.
Examples of the information/protocols which should now be included in the health plan (in addition to what is already included) are:
- A Johne’s Control Strategy signed by a BCVA Johne’s accredited vet (we have several of these at the practice).
- A BVD eradication plan.
- Plans for lameness management, including a mobility scoring protocol, foot trimming protocol and a foot-bathing protocol.
- A copy of your milking routine protocol plus any information regarding your Mastitis Control Plan and/or information from the AHDB Dairy Mastitis Pattern Analysis Tool (if these have been done/used).
- A protocol of Dry Cow Therapy (including details on the thresholds used for your selective dry cow therapy protocol.
- A section on protocols regarding calvings: protocol for use of calving aids, management of the cow/calf at separation and disease control at calving (e.g. with regards to Johne’s disease etc.).
- A policy on the use of pain relief on farm.
- A protocol for use of shackles/hobbles on farm.
- At least one person who deals with the administration of medicines should have attended an approved training course dealing with this subject matter.
- Protocols for dealing with emergency situations on farm– for example; fire, flood etc.
- Details of your parlour plant cleaning protocol.
This list is not exhaustive, and many of these new areas are already covered by Scarsdale Vets’ existing herd health plan.
We will be launching an updated version of our herd health plan to ensure that it is fully compliant with these required additions.
Although being a necessary requirement for farm assurance, your herd health plan should ideally not be viewed as a ‘tick box exercise’ that just has to be done to gain farm assurance status. Herd health plans are intended to be usable, dynamic documents that are updated as and when changes occur on farm. They should be used as a reference guide and the process of filling in the herd health plan should be undertaken alongside your vet who can help and advise over what policies, protocols and plans would best suit your farm.
For more details visit the Red Tractor website.