Veterinarians key role in Australia’s agricultural industry21 Nov 2018
On this National Agriculture Day (21 November), the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is highlighting the important role that veterinarians play in ensuring the health and welfare of rural livestock which leads to increased productivity and profitability.
President of the AVA, Dr Paula Parker, said that veterinarians have a key role in improving farm gate profitability by enhancing farm biosecurity practices, herd health and animal welfare, all of which lead to increased animal productivity.
“Veterinarians work closely with farmers every day to help in the development and implementation of health plans that include preventive measures to keep their stock disease free and in tip-top condition.
“The AVA has a number of schemes that veterinarians use with their farmer clients to help increase productivity and profitability. In addition to our cattle PREgCHECK® and BIOCHECK® programs, this year the AVA launched cattle WELFARECHECK®.
These programs are designed specifically for the farm and consider what’s best for the health and welfare of the animals. The message is simple, framing practices that improve animal health and welfare are vital investments in the profitability and sustainability of farming,” Dr Parker said.
WELFARECHECK® will assist farmers meet the requirements of Livestock Production Assurance, Dairy Food Safety and dairy factories, plus provide general assurance of high welfare standards on Australian farms.
PREgCHECK® is a nationally recognised system for the identification and certification of cattle pregnancy status, particularly for sale purposes. The accuracy of this program reduces costly errors and increases buyer confidence leading to increased profitability for beef and dairy cattle producers.
BIOCHECK® is a biosecurity planning tool designed to ensure that the farmer has considered the major biosecurity risks and has appropriate risk management strategies in place. By working to ensure that livestock are properly cared for and are disease and infection free, productivity and profitability can be optimised.
“Veterinarians add value on Australian farms by providing advice on a range of health-related issues, from nutrition for better growth rates, to infection prevention and control so that diseases don’t pass from animals to humans and vice versa.
“In addition, veterinarians play a key role in disease surveillance, helping to maintain Australia’s favourable disease status and to protect our valuable export markets.
“Having veterinarians come onto your farm to perform pregnancy diagnosis or to help develop your biosecurity plan is the best way to get the most appropriate advice and to detect sub clinical issues that may be reducing your herd productivity,” Dr Parker said.
World leading animal health and welfare is essential for the sustainability of Australian agriculture into the future. Progressive farmers recognise this and are including their veterinarian as a key member of their farm advisory team.