Animal health plans - not just for Fonterra suppliers

Animal health plans - not just for Fonterra suppliers
Animal health plans - not just for Fonterra suppliers
By Margaret Perry, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Te Aroha

It’s November, which hopefully means the silage is off, the crops are planted and the bulls are in with the herd. It also means that you might have a spare moment to catch up with your veterinarian to formulate an animal health plan for your herd.

If you are a Fonterra supplier you will need an animal health plan signed off by your vet in order to qualify for the Fonterra Co-Operative Difference program. Last season Fonterra signalled that 50% of their farmers had a plan signed off by their veterinarian – is your plan up to date?

If you are not a Fonterra supplier, an animal health plan is still a valuable tool that other dairy companies see as an asset. One of the questions on the most recent annual Tatua 360 animal health inspection audit was “Do you have an animal health plan that has been formulated with the help of your herd veterinarian”? For our Synlait suppliers, the Lead with Pride programme’s Animal Health pillar has a strong foundation in having a current animal health plan. These plans let the whole team know what is on the horizon animal health-wise for the season for various classes of stock.

What is involved?

The process involves sitting down and discussing what type of animal health plan you require and the plan is custom made to meet your farm’s requirements. For the Fonterra Co-Operative Difference you will need to provide herd-level data for clinical mastitis, lameness and mortality (both cows and calves pre-weaning) rates, as well as body condition score results/targets and steps your herd is taking to limit antimicrobial resistance. For our Fonterra farmers there is a $100 rebate via Farmsource dollars for running a Dairy Antibiogram (DAB) this season. The DAB test is a way to monitor antimicrobial resistance and helps you as the farmer make better antibiotic choices for clinical mastitis and dry cow therapy. If you haven’t ordered a DAB this season, get in touch - it is not too late to run this herd level test.

Your Anexa veterinarian is well positioned with a variety of Animal Health Plan templates to suit your farm’s needs. We’ll be getting in touch with many dairy clients before Christmas, but if we don’t get to you first – flick your veterinarian a text or email and let’s get your plan sorted!

Date Added: Wednesday, 4th November 2020