May Newsletter

Ruminant Health and Welfare

Welcome to Ruminant Health & Welfare

While it’s been a busy time on farm for many with spring lambing and calving taking place, the RH&W group working across the four nations continue in our collective efforts to share insights, explore research and progress welfare strategies.

I was pleased to be able to share the progress made so far and our bigger picture plans with Katie Jones at Farmers Guardian in this recent interview here.

With reference to BTV-3, much preparatory work is going on in the background as we all consider how best we can use the group’s experts, network and learnings so far to help prepare for any potential developments for bluetongue (BTV-3) when the warmer weather returns. 

Keep an eye out for upcoming BTV webinars as well as Defra’s series of technical webinars – the bluetongue hub link above contains all the latest updates.

Work continues on how we can inform and influence on key industry issues across the devolved nations with the technical expertise and knowledge from the steering group, and in a similar vein, plans are moving on for the upcoming GB calf strategy report.

Following our recent newsletters we have been delighted to welcome several new members to the RH&W steering group which is excellent. Remember if you or someone you know are keen to explore how get involved in our welfare strategies, or have further feedback for the group, please do email

Gwyn Jones


BTV Technical webinars

What do vets need to know about treating BTV cases?
The next BTV technical webinar will take place from 3 – 4:30 pm on Wednesday 15 May.
The session will be chaired by Fiona Lovatt with speakers Rachael Tarlinton and Mark van der Heijden. Sign up here.

Plan, Prevent and Protect webinars from Defra
Watch this series of recent webinars here.

Listen again to the BTV-3 vaccines podcast powered by AHDB, featuring vet and AHDB Head of Animal Health and Welfare Dr Mandy Nevel, veterinary vaccine consultant Prof. Andy Peters & Dr Carrie Batten from Pirbright. 
Listen here:  

Lambing Survey 

 A call for affected and unaffected farm participation

The University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Science and Medicine lambing survey will close this month, so please get your responses in now.

Even if your farm has not been affected by Schmallenberg this season, it is very useful for the research process to have comparative data.

The research, as previously mentioned will allow the industry to better understand the impact and scale this year from Schmallenberg as well as BTV-3 virus. 

Take part here.


Methane report reminder

The ‘Acting on methane’ report is a great source of information for having conversations about reducing emissions from ruminants. It outlines how the carbon intensity of production can be reduced which in turn reduces emissions.  Greatest impact is achieved by focussing on conditions which improve food conversion efficiency, growth rates and the involuntary or premature culling of breeding stock.

You can find the full report here.

Updated ‘Know Your Anthelmintics Groups’ guide from SCOPS

This helpful guide from SCOPS has been recently updated.

Click here to view the latest version.