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£1 Million Welfare Grant to Boost Industry Skills

05 November 2012

UK - Just over £1 million of new money is to be invested across the country in enhanced skills training on animal health and welfare, thanks to a successful funding bid under Defra's Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has secured a £450,000 boost to its drive to develop skills in general animal health and welfare, with an additional £550,000 to further develop training and awareness in the fight to control endemic disease, with a special focus on Bovine Diarrhoea (BVD) and Scab.

This additional funding was won under the animal health and welfare stream of the £20m RDPE, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union.

As project leader, AHDB will work with a contract team to train advisers, vets, trading standards officers, livestock auctioneers, feed and pharmaceutical representatives, as well as livestock farmers. The target is to upskill 2,000 or more in animal health and welfare for farm livestock and at least 8,000 on BVD and Scab in the cattle and sheep industries.

Both programmes will begin this month and run until March 2014.

Experienced technical experts from AHDB's livestock divisions - covering cattle and sheep, dairy herds and pigs - will team up with animal specialists at ADAS and XLVets to deliver the training events. Training on other areas, in particular poultry, deer and rabbits, will be outsourced to relevant industry specialists.

"This award is a real boost for all our livestock sectors because it will bring yet more high value, cost-effective training to a broad range of people working in our industry, further improving animal health and welfare and, consequently, helping to make a large proportion of our agri-businesses more competitive," said AHDB External Skills Project Manager Tess Howe.

"AHDB has put together an added-value animal health and welfare programme that builds on our commitment to deliver the type of training those working in the industry say they most need - this extra funding is vital because it will help agri-businesses move further forward in caring for their livestock and looking after the bottom-line."

AHDB Chief Executive Tom Taylor welcomed the grant and its boost to industry competitiveness and sustainability: "As with all industries, there is a constant need in agriculture to develop new skills to help keep pace with change and innovation. This injection of new money will help us train more people more quickly than would otherwise have been possible."

ThePigSite News Desk

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