Its aim is to provide high quality technical expertise and resources to vets, so that they can help their farmer clients to improve cattle health, productivity and sustainability.
Taking lameness as an example, a Herd Health Plan would be expected to reduce the 35 cases in a 100 cow herd to 20 cases within a year.
Veterinary Ireland aims to train 50 vets per year in delivering Herd Health Plans specifically tailored for Ireland.
The first training session is due to start this week in Abbeyleix.
Focusing on prevention rather than treatment, moving away from the typical “fire brigade” use of veterinary services, herd health plans represent the way forward for Irish cattle farming and for large animal veterinarians, says Veterinary Ireland president Peadar O Scanaill.
The new service was developed over the past two years, with financial support from Pfizer Animal Health, and help from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, UCD’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and the Northern Ireland Veterinary Association.