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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Further funding to tackle endemic diseases

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments to support animal health and welfare

A farmer and a vet in discussion lean on the railings of a pen.

By reducing the levels of endemic disease in livestock, we can increase productivity, support businesses and unlock wider benefits too — from reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to slowing antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  

The very nature of endemic disease means it is an ongoing concern. Managing it requires the sustained effort of livestock keepers, the support of vets and money.  

In recognition of this, we are offering additional financial support to: 

  • eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) in cattle 
  • control Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in pigs 
  • tackle a range of health conditions in sheep

Through co-design, farmers and vets helped us shape this extra support. In this post, we’ll give a summary. 

A bolt-on to the yearly vet visits 

In 2023, we introduced the Annual Health and Welfare Review.

Simply put: the review is a fully funded vet visit that happens on a yearly basis. During the review, keepers of cattle, sheep and pigs can access bespoke health and welfare advice and test for endemic diseases and other conditions using a vet of their choice. 

The current offer is: 

  • £522 for a beef cattle review 
  • £372 for a dairy cattle review 
  • £436 for a sheep review 
  • £684 for a pig review 

In addition to this, we’re offering: 

  • £215 for cattle with no BVD 
  • £837 for beef cattle where BVD is present in the herd 
  • £1,714 for dairy cattle where BVD is present in the herd 
  • £639 for sheep 
  • £923 for pigs 

This money will go towards more in-depth diagnostic testing for PRRS; identifying persistently infected cattle on farms with BVD and advice on how to eliminate the disease from the farm.  

In the case of sheep, the farmer will, in consultation with their vet, choose from a range of health improvement packages. These will target the syndrome that is most prevalent and provides most benefit to treat in each flock. 

This extra funding will be available in summer. We’ll roll the offer out gradually. We’ll start with sheep, pig and beef cattle, before expanding to include dairy farmers soon after. 

Eligible farmers will also receive funding for the delivery of a biosecurity assessment followed by bespoke advice to help farmers identify how diseases are most likely to spread into their herd or flock, and across their farm. 

How to prepare   

To access the additional funding, you first need to have an Annual Health and Welfare Review. Once you’ve had a review, you can access the extra support. 

To sign up for a review, you need: 

  •  a single business identifier (SBI) linked to a county parish holding number (CPH) registered in England 


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

This will make for one seamless service where farmers will be able to apply for a 3-year agreement for carrying out the review annually, with an option to take up the offer of the extra funding. 

Making testing less invasive for pigs  

As part of our work to improve the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, we’ll soon make a change to how pigs can be tested for PRRS. 

Livestock keepers and vets told us that making the testing of pigs less stressful for the animals was a priority. As a result, the manner of testing will change from blood sampling to oral fluid sampling by cotton ropes. 

We’re always looking for ways to make our service better for vets and farmers and the feedback we get from you helps us to do that 

Next steps 

As we did with the review, we will continuously improve our offer with your feedback. 

Future improvements will allow farmers to apply for multiple species. For example, both sheep and beef cattle and multiple herds/flocks of the same species under one SBI.  

Finally, look out for out for our post on new Laying Hen Housing for Health and Welfare grant.

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  1. Comment by shipley posted on

    pleasing to see the government recognise the relationship between endemic disease and efficiency.
    Why are broilers not included.

    • Replies to shipley>

      Comment by The Team posted on


      We are targeting different sectors with different offers, based on how to best achieve the health and welfare objectives set out in the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway. This is always under review.

      Grants for equipment and technology items are available for meat chicken farmers through the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

  2. Comment by C bell posted on

    And what about us farmers that had the review and ended up having to have all our cattle tested and it cost a fortune that we had to pay when are we going to be compensated as it just isn’t fair

    • Replies to C bell>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Carol,

      We understand that this is frustrating for you. Getting BVD off farm, and keeping it off, is an ongoing process so we hope you will consider applying for an Annual Health and Welfare Review when you are next eligible and use that and the new support to tackle BVD to help you in this process.

      Once the support becomes available, you will be able to apply straight away, unless more than 10 months has passed since you accepted the agreement for your previous review. In that case, you would need to apply for your next review before accessing the new support.

      Hope that helps,
      The Team

  3. Comment by Matthew posted on

    Pleased to see this new announcement about further funding being made available.

    Could you confirm if we apply for our annual health and welfare review now and complete the vet visit we will then be able to bolt the extra funding on for endemic disease testing at a later date when it is released?


    • Replies to Matthew>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Matthew,

      Yes, that's right. As long as you have completed your review and claimed the funding for it, you can apply for the new support straight away.

      Best wishes,


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