Those who know me know I take the health status of my flocks very seriously. We run a closed system – nothing comes onto the farm except in a cryoflask. We are MV/CAE Accredited, Scrapie Monitored and tested EAE negative when we began the EAE Accreditation scheme. All this means we are able to export our animals much more easily than anyone without the status. We dont export much but when we do, we are in a position to comply easily with health requirements from all over the world.
However, this is only HALF the story. You can belong to as many schemes as you like but if you don’t have proper health planning and biosecurity protocols worked out, the job of protecting your flocks is not complete. Obviously no one can prevent all disease or disaster, but if you keep proper health records and have a very clear idea of what your problems are then you can a) avoid them and b) take action very quickly if avoidance fails!
This all sounds very complicated and expensive but to my mind, this is part of responsible and caring flock ownership. If you are proud of your animals and put lots of work and effort into them, you dont want to jeopardise that by poor management. No health plan equals poor management in my book.
I have joined the Scottish Animal Health Planning System This was developed and is run by the same institution that runs my other health schemes so very well and efficiently. It is of course open to all – not just Scots! Do have a look. Happy to answer questions on my experience of it so far. It costs me £70.00 a year and will, as the years go by, give me an invaluable resource of info. There are other systems out there but for me, this makes the most sense. See what you think.