Torch Farm Vets Newsletter – September 2017

Foot Care for your Cows

Lameness in dairy cows can prove a challenge to keep on top of in the modern dairy world and we are available to help you take a preventative approach as well as helping treat cows with sub-optimal mobility.

The mainstay of cattle hoof care should take a three pronged approach:

  1. Preventative trimming using a correct technique

100 day trims and pre-dry off checks will allow correction of imperfect foot angle and help reduce pressure on the sole ulcer site.

Although correction of foot conformation is critical, it is imperative that cows are not over trimmed on a routine inspection as this creates more problems than it solves.

  1. Early recognition and treatment

Recent research indicates that picking up a cows’ foot early and treating a lesion at the onset will improve a chance of early recovery.

Evidence has shown that blocking a painful lesion and giving 3 days of anti-inflammatory will greatly improve recovery rates.

Regular mobility scoring can help identify early lesions and promote speedy recoveries.

  1. On farm assessment of major risk

A targeted approach involves putting your effort into the areas which are going to reward you the most and make the biggest improvement to your farm, whether it’s as simple as reviewing the foot-bathing regime or changing your cow flow.

Total Hoofcare is a new standalone business being offered with Torch Farm Vets alongside Penbode vets and David Rowe which offers preventative foot care as well as emergency trims for your cows.  We also provide a mobility review service whereby we can not only mobility score your cows but we can complete an on farm review to allow us to harness the three pronged approach outlined above.

If you would like any more information about Total Hoofcare and the services we could help offer, please contact our Bideford branch on 01237 870456 or Holsworthy branch on 01409 253418.


The Big Torch Tour—50 Miles for 50 Years

We would like to say a big thank you to all of those who donated and sponsored our Big Torch Tour back in July— we raised an incredible total of £1500 for Send a Cow.

Congratulations and well done to all who took part!


TB Update

The following points outline some of the TB testing changes which have taken place over the last few months.

  1. More extensive use of gamma interferon test.

Compulsory gamma testing will be applied to supplement the skin test and help resolve TB breakdowns with lesion and/or culture positive animals where one of three criterion are met:

– There is a likelihood of cattle to cattle transmission

– The herd is in a zone where at least 2 years of effective licenced badger control has occurred

– Repeated skin test has failed to resolve a breakdown

  1. Severe interpretation for all traced cattle
  2. Changes in handling of inconclusive reactor

– Inconclusive Reactors (IRs) will remain restricted on the holding for the rest of their life unless a private gamma interferon blood test proves negative.

– The only permitted movement in the absence of a blood test will be to slaughter either directly or potentially via an Approved Finishing Unit

  1. Movement of cattle from one TB breakdown herd to another

Herds will need to be matched in their test status in order for a licence to be granted.  APHA will potentially allow movement from a TB breakdown herd only if the destination herd is due two short interval 60day tests at severe interpretation.

  1. The short interval 60 day test will only be due from 60 days after the last test positive reactor has left the holding.

For more information on any of these changes, or on TB in general please visit


Changes to Red Tractor Assurance Standards

Due to be implemented from October 2017, details can be found online at

The main changes surround animal medicines with a recommendation that annual usage is reviewed with a vet and that there are protocols in place to use as little of the highest priority critically important antibiotics are used as little as possible.

Alongside this there is a recommendation for the herd health and performance reviews to be undertaken by a vet and that this should be on an annual basis rather than every 18 months. Our health schemes include an annual review and medicine review as standard.


Diary dates

  • Sheep Meeting

Managing Grass for Ewe Productivity

Wednesday 4th October 2017


Continuing our ewe productivity series we will examine practical aspects of pasture and silage management.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

  • Bideford Rugby

Saturday 11th Nov 2017

Torch Farm Vets are pleased to invite you to join us on the 11th Nov to watch Bideford RFC vs Newent RFC at Bideford Rugby Club.

Please join us from 12:30pm onwards for refreshments and lunch. Kick off is at 3pm.

Please call 01327 870456 to book your place.

We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information on this event please visit our website or give us a call on 01769 610000 to book your place.

Sept NL

Torch Farm Vets Newsletter – September 2017