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TB Workshops Aim to Help Official Vets Advise Farm Clients

29 September 2016

UK - A series of regional TB workshops has been announced to help Official Veterinarians (OVs) provide evidence-based advice to their farm clients on protecting their herds from TB.

The one-day workshops, organised by veterinary CPD company Improve International and funded by Defra, will help English TB OVs in delivering TB advice to their clients and ensure they are up to date with new resources introduced to support the TB Eradication Plan, including the TBHub, Farm Data Packs, the TB Advisory Service and Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHeCS).

The TBHub is an information website for beef and dairy farmers while the TB Advisory Service, to be launched in England early next year, will support farmers whose herds are affected by TB. CHeCS is the self-regulatory body for cattle health schemes in the UK and Ireland and will include TB as one of the monitored diseases. Farm Data Packs will be sent to all farms with new TB breakdowns from October 2016.

The TB workshops, which are being accredited by Improve International’s assessment partner the European School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ESVPS), will be led by course tutors Jo Wheeler BVetMed MRCVS, a TB epidemiologist with APHA, and James Russell BVetMed MRCVS, a director of a mixed practice and member of the BCVA Board. They will explore the key issues that will help farms remain free from TB and discuss how to support restricted farms in regaining their disease freedom more quickly.

Delegates will then have the opportunity to apply this information with a farm visit. The workshops will take place between November 2016 and February 2017 in five venues around the UK and are supported with online learning resources.

Improve International handles OV registration and training in England, Scotland and Wales, in conjunction with its accreditation partner, the ESVPS, and Harper Adams University, which validates the qualifications. It offers 11 Official Controls Veterinary qualifications (OCQ(V)s, including the OCQ(V) TT which focuses on tuberculin testing in cattle. OVs with Grandfather Rights to this qualification are required to revalidate it by 31 March 2017.

Commenting on the TB Workshops, Sue Hay MRCVS, Head of Practical Skills at Improve International, said: “The effects of a bTB outbreak on a farm can be devastating so the role of the OV in ensuring that farmers have the knowledge and support to protect their herds is vital.

“Defra has funded these workshops to help English TB OVs understand current Government policy and give them further information on the new initiatives which are being introduced to support the TB Eradication Plan. The tutors will help OVs know what to ask – and how to ask it - when addressing bTB advice with farmers and will introduce a new app which has been developed to record the findings of a TB advisory visit and produce a clear report for the farmer.”

For more information on the workshops or to book, visit https://www.improve-ov.com/other/tb-workshops.php; call the Improve OV line on 0330 202 0380 or email enquiries@improve-ov.com



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