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Many thanks to the Ashton family for hosting our inaugural youngstock club meeting. All who attended learned the latest in calf nutrition research and the difference in the huge variety that is available in terms of calf milk replacer.

Georgina Thomas from Trouw nutrition showed the evidence behind feeding quantities and quality. We are not just feeding for growth but for future health

and production.

“100g of extra daily live weight gain in the first 12 weeks of life has been shown to lead to an extra 250l of milk in a heifer’s first lactation”

Those that have recently joined the youngstock club have mostly had their first round of monitoring and early signs are of good improvements.

Calf rearing makes up approximately 20% of costs but varies widely; let us help you to meet your targets for health and productivity in 2019.

Please speak to us about the Torch Youngstock Club or if you would like to discuss your feeding strategy.


There have been some recent medicine changes as follows:

Bovigen: a vaccine to assist in prevention of calf scour is replacing Rotavec-Corona.

• Use is the same – but the key difference is 3ml per dose in muscle (compared to 2ml per dose with Rotavec).

Zeleris – for calf pneumonia is replacing Resflor.

• Both contain Florfenicol and an anti-inflammatory.

• The dose rate is 1ml/10kg under skin (compared to 2ml/15 kg for Resflor).

Pharmasin – is temporarily replacing Tylan injection (supply issues with Tylan).


Spirovac – please be aware that there is a global shortage of leptospirosis vaccine. We believe we have sufficient supply to meet clients needs.

Brexit – we are in regular dialogue with our suppliers to ensure we maintain supplies irrespective of the final outcome in the coming weeks. That will include holding additional stock during the critical period if necessary.

For more information please talk to one of the Torch Farm team


We have recently welcomed Adam Reid to our farm vet team.

Adam qualified from the University of Glasgow in 2017. He comes from a sheep and beef farm in Perthshire, Scotland and enjoys all aspects of farm animal work.

Before joining Torch he worked in a large animal practice in Northern Ireland. In his spare time he can be found playing sport and helping at the farm back home.

Diary Dates


As part of the BVD Stamp It Out Initiative, Torch Farm Vets have been running several cluster meetings to enrol clients onto this generously funded RDPE scheme to control and eradicate BVD in breeding cattle herds.

In the first month we have already enrolled just shy of 50 farms, with most already progressing onto the next step, consisting of a farm visit to carry out a BVD-specific risk assessment and take samples for a funded check test. If results indicate active infection, further funding is available to undertake a PI hunt.

We run the cluster meetings in a pub local to one of our three main branches (Mullacott, Bideford, South Molton) to maximise uptake. We provide a short talk to outline the initiative and a hot meal, with plenty of time for questions.

Keep an eye on our newsletters and social media to find the dates and venues of the upcoming meetings. Torch secured funding for 120 farms in the North Devon/Cornwall area so act fast and get in touch with your local branch to attend the next local cluster meeting and enrol. The funding will only be available until 2020.

The next meeting dates in your area are:

• Weds 13 February from 12 noon at The Muddiford Inn, Barnstaple EX31 4EY

• Mon 18 February from 12 noon at The Thatched Inn, Abbotsham Bideford EX39 5BA

• Weds 20 February from 12 noon at The Coaching Inn, South Molton EX36 3BJ

Please call your local practice or email jenburnett@torchfarmvets.com to book.


Due to popularity we have added a date for our lambing workshops. This three-hour workshop is suitable for anyone involved with a lambing flock, whatever the size.

Learn how to recognise a normal lambing, and understand when to intervene for a successful outcome. Taught using lambing simulators, you will learn:

• How to untangle lambs

• How to treat hypothermia

• How to correctly use leg ropes and head snares

• How to stomach tube a lamb to ensure adequate colostrum intake

• Tail docking and castrati on techniques

• Care of the ewe before and after lambing

• Correct injection techniques

• Care of the newborn lamb

Extra date added:

• Thurs 7 February, 14:00 – 17:00 at Torch Farm Vets, South Molton, EX34 4AF

Grab the last couple of spaces! Call 01769 610000 to reserve your place.


The MilkSure initiative is for British dairy farmers. Its mission is to safeguard the production of wholesome milk which is free of veterinary medicine residues.

With new types of tests being used by dairy producers for detecting medicines in milk, having peace of mind that your milk is residue free will be all the more important.

These new tests are not just looking for antibiotics but other medicines commonly used in dairy cattle will be detected as well.

MilkSure is led by DairyUK and has been developed in conjunction with BCVA (the British Cattle Veterinary Association).

• Weds 20 February, 10am – 12noon at Charter Veterinary Hospital, Roundswell EX31 3FG


Join us for a DIY AI course with a focus on practical hands-on tuition to give you a thorough understanding of the cow’s anatomy and managing the AI process, improving your livestock and business performance.

Working on farm, you will have the opportunity to practice on live cows in a familiar and relaxed training environment.

You will be given feedback during the practical sessions as you focus on perfecting your technique.


The course will include:

• Anatomy of the cow reproductive system

• Review of cow oestrus cycle

• Semen handling

• Welfare and legislation

• Practical technique

We are able to offer 50% funding for beef farmers who meet the below criteria:

• At least 30 breeding females,

• Either own or work full-time on the farm

• The farm must be registered in England.

If you wish to enrol, FarmSkills must have the answers to the above, along with your contact details so we can complete the required enrolment for AHDB.

• Weds 27 – Friday 29 March at Torch Farm Vets, South Molton, EX34 4AF plus two days on farm.

There are only 10 funded places in the south west so first come first served.

To book your place please call 01769 610000 or email sophiaelworthy@torchfarmvets.com