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Farm animal health and welfare: help us test the yearly review

Buroughbridge Farmer Richard Lister & Chief Vet Christine Middlemiss.
Boroughbridge Farmer Richard Lister & Chief Vet Christine Middlemiss. Photograph by Graham Higgins.

The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway supports improvements in farm animal health and welfare.  

The first step of the pathway is the Annual Health and Welfare Review. Starting this autumn, farmers who keep cattle, sheep and pigs can get funding for a vet or vet-led team to visit their farm and carry out a yearly review.  

Each vet visit can last up to 3 hours. In that time, vets will offer advice on both the health and welfare of their animals and on farm biosecurity.

This could include diagnostic testing, advice on the use of medicines or signposting to other financial support.   

To make sure the Annual Health and Welfare Review works before we launch it, farmers and vets have helped us test:

  • guidance for farmers on how to apply and make a claim for the review 
  • guidance for vets on how to carry out a review 
  • how farmers access and use the digital service 
  • the end-to-end process for a vet carrying out a review 

We’re now ready to put more of the pathway to the test and we need your help.  

What we will test  

We’re about to start testing several aspects of the review including: 

  • the service on GOV.UK that farmers will use. This includes the content for their applications. 
  • how vets will interact with the service. This includes basic information about each farm and the results of diagnostic testing following a vet visit.

You don’t need to be an expert with computers – all we need to know from you is what works and what doesn’t so we can make the service better. 

You’ll give your feedback in a survey.  

Any documents submitted while testing will all be anonymised. This is not an inspection and the information from testing won’t be used in inspections.  

Get involved  


If you’re a registered livestock keeper in England and you're eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), we’d love to hear from you. We’re also asking that our testers keep: 

  • 11 or more beef or dairy cattle 
  • 21 or more sheep 
  • 51 or more pigs 


We need the help of vets too. If you’re a registered and practicing vet, you can take part. 

Testing dates 

The testing will be rolled out in phases over the summer until autumn 2022 and should fit alongside your daily farming activities. 

What you will get for taking part 

By helping to test the review, you’ll gain early access to the service.

Farmers will be paid at the standard payment rate:

  • £522 for beef cattle 
  • £372 for dairy cattle 
  • £436 for sheep 
  • £684 for pigs 

Contact us

You can email us at Use 'AHWR' as the subject.

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  1. Comment by Maureen Hutchison posted on

    Seems to be assumed that farmers would not routinely bother to call a vet for welfare issues if they are not given a grant for it.I would have considered it a routine business expense if you wish to farm livestockt

    • Replies to Maureen Hutchison>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for visiting the blog. Farmers do a huge amount to care for their livestock - in doing so they provide the nation with healthy produce and prevent the spread of endemic diseases. This needs to be recognised.

      The fully-funded vet visit is designed to go some way to ease the financial pressure on farmers. With a number of new grants and schemes coming in to support animal health and welfare, vets will also be able to signpost farmers the ones that best apply to their situation.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

  2. Comment by Sadie Champion posted on

    We don't claim under the BPS, and don't even know if we're eligible to claim it as we rent most of our grazing.
    Does this mean we aren't eligible to take part in this scheme?

    • Replies to Sadie Champion>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Sadie,

      The review is initially for cattle, sheep and pig farmers who are eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and who have more than 10 cattle, 20 sheep or 50 pigs.

      We aim to make the review available to farmers not currently participating in the BPS as soon as possible.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      • Replies to The Team>

        Comment by Sadie Champion posted on

        We definitely have more than 20 sheep!
        Thank you for your reply, we look forward to hearing about any updates.

        Kind regards,

  3. Comment by Gloucestershire Farmer posted on

    Is this scheme still going ahead, please? It’s now mid October and I am unable to find any updates on how to apply.

    • Replies to Gloucestershire Farmer>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on


      Yes it is. In the next couple of months, we'll publish more information on GOV.UK about when applications will open and how to apply.
      You can either subscribe to the blog to find out when this happens, or you can visit the GOV.UK page and click on the 'Get email updates about this page' button for the latest.

      Best wishes,

  4. Comment by Sarah louise Eastburn posted on

    I have just had my vet visit and health plan completed for my red tractor assurance
    How do i apply for the funding? I cant find any forms to print.

    • Replies to Sarah louise Eastburn>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Sarah,

      The scheme isn't yet open to all - we're rolling out the annual vet visits gradually, to make sure the system works. Details of the next phase will be shared very soon here on the blog.

      Best wishes,
      The Team


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