A consultation has been launched on a proposal to form a Ruminant Health and Welfare Group to deliver a simpler, more co-ordinated approach to tackling primarily sheep and cattle health and welfare across the UK.

The AHDB, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) are facilitating the consultation on behalf of the industry and are looking for feedback and comments to assist with defining and supporting the next steps.

They would like to hear from businesses and trade organisations involved in the cattle and sheep industry including producers, processors, animal welfare groups, pharma businesses, academics and experts in the field of ruminant health and welfare.

Gwyn Jones, chair of RUMA and AHDB Dairy Board said: “Domestically, we face ongoing challenges over health and welfare and continuing high levels of endemic disease which erode reputation and public trust as well as margins.

“In terms of export of meat and dairy, there is recognition that improving animal health and welfare status would enable the UK to access more markets.

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“Discussions have been taking place across the cattle and sheep industry and with UK Governments over the last 12 months over how we can collectively accelerate the pace of progress on endemic disease in ruminants.

“There is broad agreement that a simpler, more co-ordinated approach to ruminant health and welfare is needed and that a united industry voice would be powerful and influential in deciding spending priorities and championing innovation and best practice.

“The formation of an industry Ruminant Health and Welfare Group has been proposed to deliver this.”

You can find more details and take part in the consultation on the AHDB website.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Friday October 25.

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