Torch Farm Newsletter – July 2017

Torch Vets speak at International Conference

The ninth International Veterinary Sheep Congress took place in Harrogate back in May. This event is held every four years and attracts leaders in the field of sheep veterinary medicine from all over the world, with 600 delegates attending daily.

This year the underlying theme was ‘sustainable global food supply through efficient sheep and goat production’.

Three of our sheep vets were able to attend the full conference and all contributed presentations.

Colin Clarke presented the results of the anthelmintic survey we carried out on 27 local farms. This followed the recent publication of paper detailing the survey in the Veterinary Record.

Liz Nabb co presented case studies of MV in commercial flocks. She also described the potential uses of laparoscopy in sheep aside from reproductive procedures.

Mike Glover described techniques for anesthetizing sheep in practice, presented the results of a small survey into exposure of ewes to Schmallenberg following the 2012-13 outbreak, and also presented the analysis of laparoscopic AI results in over 10,000 ewes.

It was an excellent and informative week and also provided a good opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new contacts for future projects.

Torch Charity Events

Steppin’ it up for Agriculture in Africa

As part of Merial Animal Health’s Calf Matters challenge Joel has joined the RedHotChilliSteppers team. He will be trying to take as many steps as possible, targeting at least 10,000 per day, in order to raise money for their chosen charity Farm Africa.

After the first week alone Joel has contributed just under 90,000 of those steps!

Find out more on Facebook/Twitter. If you would like to donate there is a Just Giving page The target is to reach 140,000,000 steps (70,500 miles) by the BCVA congress and to raise £15,000 so please give generously!

The Big Torch Tour – 50 Miles for 50 Years

Torch are participating in fundraising efforts to celebrate 50 years of the British Cattle Veterinary Association.

On Sunday the 16th July members of the Torch team will be cycling part or the whole of a 50 mile route visiting all our Torch and Charter branches , starting in South Molton and finishing in Bideford.  The chosen charity for this event is send a cow, to find out more please visit our website or Facebook. If you would like to support us please donate either person or via our Just Giving page at

Keep Enzootic Abortion Out of Your Flock

Abortion continues to be a major worry during the lambing season. There are many causes but Enzootic abortion (caused by Chlamydophila abortus) causes around half of the 400,000 abortions. Prevention is by far the most effective way to control enzootic abortion and a specific vaccination is widely available. In the last few years we have experience supply problems so this year we have secured stock of Cevac Chlamydia vaccine to ensure that your flocks are protected against this disease. Cevac comes in 20 and 50 dose packs and is licensed to be used with Toxovax. As usual we are offering the dual discount on Cevac and Toxovax when ordered together. For more details please contact us.


Addressed Envelopes

Most of our Farm clients now pay their invoices direct via Direct debit, Bacs payments or via card payments. Based on this we are giving our clients notice that as from 01/08/17 we will no longer supply pre addressed Torch envelopes with each monthly statement. If you would still like these envelopes please ask next time you are visiting our practice and we can give a supply.


Total Hoof Care – Coming Soon!

We are pleased to announce our new venture Total Hoof Care.

This is a joint venture with Penbode Vets and local foot trimmer David Rowe of Cattle Loco Hoof Care offering a comprehensive hoof care service – routine foot trimming, mobility scoring, data analysis and herd advice backed up by our knowledgeable vets and David’s many years of experience of hoof trimming and training.

Total Hoof Care will offer  a quality controlled service with trimmers going  through a stringent training scheme and regular checks by ourselves  All technicians are members of the CHCSB (Cattle Hoof Care Standards board) which involves an unannounced inspection annually by an independent assessor.  Our emphasis will be on quality of work.

We can design a Total herd Hoof care package to suit your individual requirements – identifying the right cows at the right time to  minimise lameness and maximise  milk production

For  further information please ring 01237 870456,  speak to your routine vet or visit the Total Hoof Care stand at the Holsworthy Show on August 24th when the service will be officially launched.


Dung Sample Collection for Worm Egg Counts

Taking a pooled sample

Number of samples required

  • Minimum 10 samples, or 10% of the group
    • i.e. 200 lambs – need 20 samples
    • i.e. 60 lambs – need 10 samples
  • The more samples taken, the more accurate the results will be
  • For groups of 250 lambs or more, 25 samples will be sufficient

Type of samples to collect

  • Take only fresh (steaming) samples.
  • Take whatever you find – pellets, runny, soft or firm.
  • Try to collect a good, representative sample e.g. if most dung piles are pellets, collect mostly pellets.

Method of collection

  • Pen the lambs or push them into a field corner and hold them there for 5 minutes to allow them to defecate.
  • With unweaned lambs, it may be simpler to catch the required number of lambs and take samples directly from the backside.
  • Collect samples from each lamb into a separate bag, collecting at least a full teaspoonful from each lamb/dung pile.
  • Small sample bags may be requested from your usual branch.
  • Exclude air from the bag to reduce the rate of development and hatching of the eggs in the samples.

Drench Check Worm Egg Count

Check the effectiveness of your drenching program with “before and after” worm egg counts. Mark 10% of the lambs in the group and collect a dung sample from each. Follow the procedure as above, taking samples directly from lambs’ backsides.

Collect and submit a second dung sample from the marked lambs 7 days after drenching if using levamisole (yellow wormer) or 14 days if using any other wormer.

This procedure can highlight drench resistance or dosing problems. If you are suspicious that you have a drench resistance problem on farm, please consult a vet for a more specific program.


Diary Dates

  • The Big Torch Tour

Sunday 16h July

See details below

  • Cattle AI Course

24th—26th July

3 Day course

£455 ex VAT

Lunch and refreshments will be provided each day

Jul NL






Torch Farm Newsletter – July 2017