Animal Health & Welfare Pathway Update
February 1, 2023

The first step of the Animal Health & Welfare Pathway is the annual health & welfare review, part of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) offering. Through this scheme livestock keepers can get funding for a vet or vet-led team of your choice to visit your farm and carry out a review of your eligible livestock each year.  The review sits alongside the environmental land management (ELM) standards. You do not need to have an SFI standards agreement to be eligible to apply for the SFI annual health and welfare review.  This scheme is intended to be available to all eligible keepers in 2023.

The review is flexible, and you and the vet can decide what the health and welfare priorities are for the farm and focus.

This review is designed to:

  • reduce endemic diseases such as bovine viral disease (BVD) in cattle, porcine reproductive and respiratory disease (PRRS) in pigs and resistance to parasite treatments in sheep
  • improve the welfare of your animals
  • increase productivity
  • ensure your use of veterinary medicines and vaccines is appropriate
  • be primarily for the farmer, and not used for inspections or compliance

To be eligible for the health & welfare review you must

  • be eligible for BPS, meaning the SBI must have at least 5 ha of BPS eligible land and 5 or more entitlements
  • be a livestock keeper registered in England with more than any of the following;
    • 10 cattle
    • 20 sheep
    • 50 pigs

If the above is satisfied and the keeper has more than one species of livestock, you can have one review annually for each species. The payment for each species is different. This is because the required testing for some species may take longer to do, and some results cost more to analyse.  You’ll be paid:

  • £684 for a pig review
  • £436 for a sheep review
  • £522 for a beef cattle review
  • £372 for a dairy cattle review

This payment will help towards;

  • the vet
  • testing for endemic diseases and conditions
  • your time

Once the vet has completed the review, they will provide you with a report that includes:

  • the agreed priority recommendations and actions for you to improve the health and welfare of your livestock
  • advice about how you can monitor your livestock in future to identify how things are changing throughout the year
  • advice about how you can record data as part of the review
  • information about where you can find further support

This information will not be shared with Defra or used for any regulatory or site visit purposes.

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