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Calling all livestock farmers in the North of England

We need your expertise to help develop better understandings of endemic livestock disease. We are a Wellcome Trust funded research project aiming to help tackle endemic diseases in the UK’s cattle and sheep population. We’d like to speak to farmers based in the North East, Yorkshire and Cumbria who keep dairy/beef cattle and/or sheep to learn from your experiences of BVD and lameness. How do you identify and treat these diseases on your farm? How do you control or prevent them? Working with farmers and industry and advisory partners, the research aims to identify interventions which help to reduce the incidence of these disease and their costs to UK farming. For every interview completed we will donate £15 to the Farming Community Network charity.

Sign up here.

For more information on the research see below.

We invite you to participate in FIELD: a research project aiming to help tackle endemic diseases in the UK’s cattle and sheep population.

  • FIELD is funded by the Wellcome Trust and is run by a group of researchers from six UK universities, all interested in the challenges posed to livestock health, welfare and productivity by endemic diseases.
  • Endemic diseases are common but difficult to eradicate and they have an impact on animal health, welfare and productivity. FIELD focuses on Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and lameness as two contrasting examples of these diseases.
  • The research involves:
    • Investigating the history of BVD and lameness to see what we can learn from the past
    • Working with present day farmers and vets to find out what problems these diseases cause on farms and how farmers and vets deal with these problems
    • Creating economic and epidemiological models which aim to identify how transmissible diseases like BVD move between animals and farms, helping us to identify areas of risk in farming systems

A crucial part of the research is talking to farmers about BVD and lameness on their farms, and this is where we need your help.

What will taking part involve?

  • We would like to carry out interviews with farmers who keep dairy cattle, beef cattle, and/or sheep. The interviews would be conducted over the phone or Zoom.
  • The interviews will focus on your background in farming, and in particular will ask you about BVD and lameness on your farm. We are interested in your experiences of these diseases, how you identify and treat them on your farm, and how you try and control them or prevent them occurring in your livestock.
  • The interviews will last about 90 minutes and will be recorded.
  • Your participation will be in confidence: you and your farm would not be identifiable in any of the research outputs or communications.

What are the benefits of participating?

  • We will consider how responses to these diseases have changed over time, and what their impacts are for animals and farm businesses. We will ask if they can be better managed, and if so how. We want to identify ‘best bet’ interventions to help reduce the incidence of these diseases and their costs to UK farming.
  • Your involvement will mean you are contributing to efforts to reduce the incidence of endemic diseases such as BVD and lameness. These conditions may be costly and reduce animal welfare.
  • We will send you a copy of our findings as a policy and practice note and keep you informed of any additional dissemination and engagement activities resulting from the research
  • For every interview that is completed we will donate £15 to the Farming Community Network charity

If you are willing to take part …

Complete email We are very happy to respond to any questions you may have about the project or about becoming involved.