Applies to England
- What the review is
- How much funding you’ll get
- What happens during a review
- Check you’re eligible to apply
- What you need to do after you have applied
- During the farm visit
- After the review
- Apply for a review
- How to claim your funding
- Get help with your application
What the review is
You can get funding for a vet, or team chosen by a vet, to visit your farm and carry out a health and welfare review if you keep:
- beef cattle
- dairy cattle
A health and welfare review will help you:
- reduce endemic diseases and conditions
- increase animal productivity
- improve animal welfare
You can choose the vet that you want to do the review. The review is not an inspection or audit and is optional.
How much funding you’ll get
You’ll get funding for each livestock type, not for each animal.
- £522 for a beef cattle review
- £372 for a dairy cattle review
- £436 for a sheep review
- £684 for a pig review
The funding amount for each type of livestock is different because:
- testing may take longer for some types of livestock
- some results cost more to analyse
The funding will cover the endemic disease or condition testing costs. It will also contribute towards the costs of both your time and the vet’s time.
What happens during a review
There’s no set amount of time for a review, but it’s likely to take between 2 and 3 hours of your time and the vet’s time. You may ask the vet to spread it over several regular visits to the farm or do it in a single visit.
What you must ask the vet to do
- Visit your farm and test for the endemic diseases or condition of the livestock type you’re having reviewed to recommended standards - bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in dairy and beef cattle, effectiveness of worming treatments in sheep, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in pigs.
- Advise on the health and welfare of these livestock - examples of this could include lameness, body conditioning or mobility scoring.
- Give you a written report after the review, including recommended follow-up actions and the relevant endemic disease or condition test results from the laboratory.
- Give you a summary of the review you can use as evidence if the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) requests it when you claim.
What a review can include
You and the vet can also choose to discuss biosecurity, medicine usage or both if it’s useful.
Check you’re eligible to apply
You must have a minimum number of animals when the vet visits your farm to do the review.
You must have one of the following:
- 11 or more beef cattle
- 11 or more dairy cattle
- 21 or more sheep
- 51 or more pigs
The livestock must be registered in England and you must be responsible for their welfare when the vet carries out the review.
Your business must have:
- a single business identifier (SBI) linked to a county parish holding (CPH) number registered in England
- a CPH number that’s permanent or temporary
You can only apply for a review on a CPH registered in England. You cannot apply for a review on CPHs registered in Wales or Scotland.
The CPH number cannot be:
- an 8,000 number used for abattoirs, pet food manufacturers, racing pigeon establishments and showgrounds
- a 9,000 number used for poultry keepers
If you have received a lump sum payment to leave or retire from farming, you can still apply for a review.
You can have an agreement for a review of one eligible type of livestock every 10 months. If you have more than one eligible type, you must choose the one you would like reviewed.
You cannot apply for another review of the same herd or flock until 10 months after you submitted your last application and accepted an agreement offer.
What you need to do after you have applied
When you apply, you’ll be offered an agreement. You must accept your agreement offer and get an agreement number before you arrange a review.
Contact the vet to arrange a review and give them the agreement number.
Agree with the vet what they’ll focus on at the review. Ask them to read the guidance on how to carry out a health and welfare review of livestock.
You must make sure the review is completed and you have claimed your funding within 6 months from the date you accept your agreement offer.
During the farm visit
During the visit, you must ask the vet to carry out the required testing, and to give you health and welfare advice about your livestock. You may also discuss topics such as biosecurity or medicine usage.
Endemic diseases and condition testing
You must ask the vet to test for:
- BVD in beef cattle
- BVD in dairy cattle
- the effectiveness of worming treatments in sheep
- PRRS in pigs
- use these review test results for other accreditation schemes you’re a member of - you’ll need to check with the accreditation scheme that they will accept testing from the review
- schedule your review to fit in with your existing testing schedule if you’re already testing for these diseases or conditions to take advantage of the funding
- use other accreditation scheme test results for this review funding
- ask the vet to test for other medical conditions or diseases as part of the review
You’ll only be eligible for funding if the vet:
- tests the minimum required number of animals for the type of review they’re doing
- carries out testing after your agreement date and before you claim
- gets samples tested at a laboratory that meets the specifications for review testing
To find out more about testing including the minimum required numbers and specifications a laboratory needs to meet, read the guidance:
- cattle: testing required for an annual health and welfare review
- sheep: testing required for an annual health and welfare review
- pigs: testing required for an annual health and welfare review
Discuss the health and welfare of your livestock
You must discuss the health and welfare of your livestock with the vet as part of the review. Examples may include lameness, body conditioning or mobility scoring. Your vet will be able to advise you on what to focus on.
Reviewing biosecurity and medicine usage are optional parts of the review.
Biosecurity and medicine usage (optional)
You may also choose to discuss one or both of the following if it’s useful:
- biosecurity, including internal and external biosecurity recommendations
- medicine usage, including antibiotics, vaccinations and how you can register and submit data on the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Medicine Hub (opens in new tab)
If it is not useful to discuss either, you do not have to. The review is flexible and you should focus on what’s important for your farm when the vet visits you.
After the review
Before you can claim your funding, you must ask the vet to give you a written report and a document you can use as evidence the review has taken place.
Get a written report
The report can be either a specific report for the review or included in an existing health and welfare document that covers the same timeframe as the agreement.
You’ll only be eligible for funding if the report includes:
- endemic disease or condition test results from the laboratory
- advice or suggested species-specific health and welfare actions
- other review findings - for example, biosecurity recommendations and medicine usage
- agreed achievable actions to address issues raised by the review or testing - likely to be 2 to 3 but can be more or less based on individual needs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will not ask to see the report. It will also not be used for site visits or other compliance checks.
Get evidence the review took place
The RPA may ask you to supply evidence that the review took place when you claim.
Ask the vet for a summary of the review that you can use as evidence. The summary must be a separate document. It can be a digital or paper version.
The vet’s summary must include:
- the agreement number
- the business name and SBI number where the review took place
- the date of the vet’s last visit to the farm for the review
- the type of livestock reviewed
- confirmation the minimum number of animals being reviewed were on the farm when the vet did the review
- confirmation the vet carried out testing in accordance with the review’s disease and endemic conditions testing guidance
- the date the vet completed disease and endemic condition testing
- the unique reference number for laboratory test results
- the vet’s name and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) number
- confirmation the vet has given you a written report
You can also ask the vet to include a vet attestation number (VAN) on the summary.
You’ll need this number if one or both of the following enter the food chain and may be exported to the EU:
- livestock you produce
- animal products derived from your livestock
You must ask the vet to sign and date the summary. The signature can be digital or on paper.
Apply for a review
How to claim your funding
When the vet has completed the review, you can claim your funding.
Get help with your application
Contact the RPA if you:
- decide you do not want a review after you have accepted the agreement offer
- cannot apply online or have a question about your application
Have your agreement number with you when you call or include it in your letter or email.