In the United Kingdom, if you have an organic farm it's necessary to have an animal health plan which is an organized document showing definite management of diseases and should be regularly updated.
But now any organic organization or non-organic must take animal health plan as an important part of their strategy.
What is an animal health plan?
An animal health plan is a service made to make running of your farm more easy and give you an overview for the year ahead and give you a full record of animal health treatments.
With help of your vet, you should insert some details and then do a comprehensive schedule then activate it into the app which will be updated regularly when any change occurs and this app will inform you and your vet about everything that happens throughout the year.
There is no need to change plans ,if staff change , you can update the new person and the rest stay in place.
Benefits of animal health plan:
If you have a farm ,ask for advice from your veterinarian about the best ways you should follow to achieve your animal health tasks required over the next year and that means more financial gain.
There are benefits to farmers and benefits to vets.
Benefits of animal health plan to farmer
1- Treatments for animals like vaccination and their doses are very critical so negligence of them by delaying or missing affects directly on stock health and productivity.
2- Farmers cannot predict what will happen from year to year so this is the role of a veterinarian to help farmers to find dynamic animal health plans which include suitable treatments according to changes of circumstances throughout the year.
3- All important information about animal products is already available and recorded as an expired date which saves money and time and makes life easier for the farmers.
4- You can use photos in the animal health plan as the batch number and expiry date of the product .
5- Now with modern technology , there are apps and email addresses which will remember you and staff members about vaccination time and alert you if you miss any treatment.
6- For more communication between farm workers on the same farm ,the owner can share apps with his farm workers and that will lead to a more accurate animal health plan.
Animal health plan benefits for vet:
Animal health plan will give you good experience into the farming business which makes your insight more deeper and your advice more specific .
Vets will have meetings to put the most successful animal health plan for your farm then once activated,vet can monitor to reach the best advice and treatments.
Vets should put some alternatives as plan A and plan B as animal health plans are dynamic and we should be ready for any change as treatment dates for any reason.
Features should be present in animal health plan:
1- It should be specific to individual farms.
2- Simple ,practical and easy to use.
3- Regularly updated according to changes over the time.
4- Indicate good farm management .
Stages of animal health plan:
Available treatments and prevention process.
Incidence of the disease and number of treatments.
Your target and what do you think about improvement of your farm.
organized plan made based on review.
Aspects of animal health plan:
1- Background information
Animal health plan starts by listing some information about your farm as address and farm contacts as the farm vet and feed supplier and some details about your stock as number and breeds and age of your herd.
2- Recording and monitoring
You need to know the current situation to reduce diseases and medicine use, so we need a recording and monitoring system for diseases which allows definite analysis of medicine use and herd.
3- Preventing diseases
4- Disease reduction and control plan
Plan should include each identified disease and find the most suitable ways to decrease or eliminate their risk factors , the plan should start with those previously identified diseases as main problems on the farm and then new diseases and conditions can be added.
The currently used vaccines and immunization procedures should be involved in plan and the benefits of each vaccine use.
If you want to reduce the use of vaccination on your farm,you should have alternatives to immunological protection such as herd health security and eradication / monitoring plan.
6- Encourage of positive health and natural behavior
As we know , prevention is better than cure so animal health plan (positive health) should care about health rather than diagnose the diseases and determine risk factors to prevent disease.
The world health organization defines human health as mental ,physical and social well being not only absence of disease or disability.
Health planning means improving general health of the individual or the herd by improving its living conditions through reproduction to find suitable animals to each individual farm condition and through allowing feed for all species ,housing and the freedom to express natural behavior.
Some mutilations consider acceptable as eradication of young animals and castration of young males for reasons of safety and these procedures cause discomfort and distress so these should be done in full compliance of animal welfare as health plan aims to reduce negative impressions related to pain and suffering,
The plan should also specify who and how the operation will be carried out.
Animal health plans aim to improve the farm by active protection and monitoring of health and welfare,and find suitable solutions for specific problems of the farm ,but now it's different , how?
1- Most farmers have plans but they are useless .
2- Low accurate records despite their availability.
3- Limited reviews of records and plans.
4- Limited awareness by the farmers about the problems of their farms.
5- Good advice is very important.
Animal health plans should be dynamic to be effective in management of farms and should include protocols ,records, regular reviews and take actions then monitoring the effectiveness of these actions and if they improve farms or not.
The animal , vet ,farmer and customer all work for higher welfare so health plans become ineffective if not achieve benefits to all those.
By: Dr. fatma Ragab
Read more: Purina animal health