Guidelines published to help farm animal vets work with Pasture for Life clients
Vet Sustain and Pasture for Life
Vet Sustain, which supports veterinary professionals working towards a more sustainable future and Pasture for Life, which champions the production of meat and dairy from pasture only, have produced a support document to help vets work with Pasture for Life clients.
Membership of Pasture for Life is now approaching 900, with many of these being farmers who are either producing 100% grass-fed products or are on the journey to doing so.
Many of the techniques and practices employed by these farmers differ from mainstream ruminant livestock production. The new document sets out how elements such as weaning, grazing, lambing and calving and parasite control should be managed.
“There is no one single approach that all Pasture for Life farmers use to ensure their cattle and sheep have a 100% pasture-based diet,” says vet Alexandra Tomlinson, food and farming working group member for Vet Sustain.
“However, there are several principles that many adopt and adapt to fit their own farming system. This document outlines these and offers useful links to further resources covering these aspects in more detail.”
Dr Tomlinson continues, “As farmers transition from more conventional systems, there is potential for un-intended animal health and welfare consequences – such as poor fertility or increasing parasite burdens through reducing treatments. Informed veterinary input has the potential to minimise the likelihood of these happening.”
The ‘Vet Sustain and Pasture for Life Support Document’ has been written by a dedicated group of vets and Pasture for Life members, who are passionate about enabling more farmers to undertake sustainable farming.
“While this document is the result of collaboration between Vet Sustain and Pasture for Life, we do feel that as more producers move towards an agroecological way of working, that the information will be relevant and of value to them too, whether they are certified Pasture for Life or not.”