Animal Health & Welfare

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Animal Health & Welfare

Research has found that there is a relationship between the health of animals and the health of the farmer. Good animal welfare and good herd health means less stress on the farmer. Equally, when a farmer is stressed, research has found that animal health may suffer.  

There are practical steps and supports farmers can avail of to maintain good herd health and animal welfare. Your vet and agencies such as DAERA can offer advice however, the loss of animals due to sickness or disease is always difficult to take, especially if you have cared for the animals since birth.  

Not only is there the emotional and financial loss but also the hollow feeling of not performing as well as your neighbour, discussion group colleagues or peers. Anger, frustration and sometimes guilt are the types of feelings that come with losing animals.  

It’s important to talk about your loss. All farmers at some stage have experienced heard/crop disease and death of animals. You should try to remain busy and focused on the farm; however, months after your loss should you feel that you are not able to cope or lack the passion to farm the way you did in the past, then you should seek help.

Where can I get information on maintaining good herd health and animal welfare?  

  • Your local vet  
  • DAERA Animal Health and Welfare: 0300 200 7840  
  • Animal Health and Welfare NI (AHWNI)  

Rural Support are a source of support to farmers dealing with loss of animals and animal welfare. If you have any concerns or worries in relation to animal health please call our support line on 0800 138 1678 where our friendly and expert team are happy to help. 


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