Further funding available through the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway

Monday, 1 July 2024

On 19 June 2024, Defra announced the availability of further funds to help farmers in England tackle endemic diseases in beef cattle, sheep and pigs through the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway.

The funding provides additional financial support towards endemic disease testing as a follow-up package to the Annual Health and Welfare Review.

This additional funding package will enable farmers to access advice on the results of the tests, and receive tailored guidance about how to treat and control the disease and improve biosecurity on their farms.

This support is not yet available to dairy cattle farmers; we expect the availability of this to be communicated shortly and will keep you informed.

Available testing 

  • For pigs, the testing provides more in-depth diagnostics for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)
  • For beef cattle, the testing provides identification of persistently infected (PI) beef cattle on farms with bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD)
  • For sheep, in consultation with the vet, you can choose from a range of health improvement packages to target a health issue that provides the most benefit to the individual flock

Payment rates

  • £215 for beef cattle with no BVD  
  • £837 for beef cattle where BVD is present in the herd  
  • £639 for sheep  
  • £923 for pigs 

A change to the disease testing for pigs

Following feedback from farmers and vets, the testing requirements for pigs in the Annual Health and Welfare Review has been changed from blood sampling to oral fluid testing.

This will benefit the welfare of the pigs being tested and make the process easier for farmers and vets.

Oral fluid sampling is less expensive; therefore, Defra have reduced the Annual Health and Welfare Review payment rate to £557 for pigs.