A new Animal Health and Welfare Pathway for England

Last week the government revealed a new initiative for livestock farmers in England. The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway will give them access to funding to work with vets to get annual reviews of herds to check their condition. The goal is to improve the health of national flocks and boost the whole industry.


Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) began doing tests of the pathway in September 2022. They chose to work with volunteer vets and farmers to see the advantages of the health and welfare checks on herds. They said the response was really encouraging. It led to the new initiative for the whole of England. There will now be a soft launch before a full roll out.

How will it work?

The pathway will give farmers the chance to claim funds for annual testing to promote better animal health. It will allow them to claim funding so they can work with vets or a team chosen by the veterinarians. As a result, they can ensure herds get a professional welfare check and diagnostics to look for diseases, parasites, and other things that could have an impact on the animals.

Farmers will be able to claim funding depending on the type of herd. The difference in funds reflects the variations in the rates for testing different species of animals. The funds will be:

  • £372 for dairy cows or £522 for beef cattle
  • £436 for sheep
  • £684 for pigs

Who can claim?

Initially the funds will only be available to specific farmers. Only those who are currently eligible to claim BPS can register for the initiative at first. The Basic Payment Scheme is the largest type of rural grant available for the farming industry. So, the focus to begin with is making the extra funding for testing accessible to them.

However, there are ambitious plans for the future. Defra is working to allow expansion of the scheme so farmers who can’t claim BPS can get the funding. In addition, they are working to make it possible for claims for multiple reviews of different species. This will account for the fact that some farms have a mix of herds.

There is more information about the funding and eligibility criteria on the gov.uk website here. We recommend you have a look in case you will be able to claim. Annual tests could be really useful for improving the welfare and productivity of your animals.

Talk to us about animal health

JS Hubbuck Ltd knows the importance of ensuring animals are healthy. It is why we provide a wide range of useful products, including wormers to help tackle parasites and the diseases they can cause. We also have other items like bedding, high quality feed, and supplements. Farmers can come to us for recommendations and much more.

If you need any help with animal health, please let us know. We are happy to share our experience so people can maximise the welfare of their animals and give the whole industry a boost.