More online tools available for beef farmers to monitor herd health

More online tools are now available for farmers to search and analyse information at herd health level, as part of the Beef HealthCheck Programme.

The new phase of the Beef HealthCheck Programme – Beef HealthCheck Online – was launched at the Meat Industry Ireland (MII) offices in Dublin this week by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

Beef HealthCheck is an Animal Health Ireland (AHI)-led programme which is being developed in collaboration with MII and supported by the FBD Trust.

The objective of the programme is to develop tools to assist farmers and their veterinary practitioners to control losses due to liver fluke and pneumonia through capture, analysis and reporting of abattoir data from post-mortem meat inspection.

Following the roll out of touchscreen technology in participating meat plants, recording health and disease information on cattle and issuing of paper based reports, AHI has now developed Beef HealthCheck Online.

This new Beef HealthCheck Online dashboard for farmers and their veterinary practitioners can be accessed free of charge through the ICBF website.

Beef HealthCheck Online provides more tools to search and analyse Beef HealthCheck information at a herd level. The information accumulates over time and provides farmers with an overview of the health status of their herd.

AHI has produced a step-by-step booklet to help farmers access, interpret and share the Beef HealthCheck Online information with their veterinary practitioner.

Farmers and their veterinary practitioner can use Beef HealthCheck Online to implement and monitor herd health plans, including parasite control programmes, pneumonia control programmes and elements of nutritional management.

Herd health planning promotes the responsible use of anthelmintics and antibiotics and improves animal health outcomes on farms.

Rebecca Carroll, Programme Manager, Beef HealthCheck said Beef HealthCheck Online puts good quality information in the hands of farmers and their veterinary practitioners helping to improve animal health and welfare outcomes on farms.

Also speaking at the launch was Philip Carroll, Chairman of Meat Industry Ireland, who said that it will enable farmers and their veterinary practitioners to further analyse results and tailor animal health plans accordingly.

“The Beef HealthCheck programme, supported by MII members, has positive benefits in terms of on-farm efficiency and improving overall farm enterprise performance.

“At processing level, it can also help to improve the harvest rate of certain beef co-products (such as livers). The programme is a great example of collaboration for the overall benefit of everyone in the beef sector.”

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