Text only version:

Total Hoof Care is a hoof trimming service run as a partnership between your vet and local hoof trimmer/instructor and consultant David Rowe.

We have had a busy first 18 months providing a quality hoof care service to our customers, using fully trained and qualified technicians who are independently audited. This is the quality of foot trimming that Farm Assurance Schemes and Milk Buyers are increasingly requiring to meet their standards.

A vital part of this service is preventative foot trimming. Where possible we recommend cows receive two trims annually at 8-4 weeks before they calf and again at 100 DIM. We also recommend preventative trimming and regular foot bathing of heifers because, if you prevent problems in heifers they are less likely to have problems as cows. Lame heifers never make old cows.

We use a modified five step trimming method tried and tested by David Rowe himself and hoof trimmers from all around the world. David has 25 years’ experience of trimming and had been using the Dairyland trimming method for 10 years. This involves measuring correct claw length, assessing correct sole depth and correctly shaping claws to relieve pressure – wherever possible sole horn is left on the foot.

David says “By using up to date cow friendly crushes and the latest techniques and technology, we can achieve great results for our customers. By using computerised record keeping we can easily identify problems in the herd and report them to you by email after each visit, building up a foot health picture foryour herd.”

Correct functional trimming does not require horn removal from all of the sole, never involves grinding the hoof wall or trimming between the claws and should not result in all of the feet being white. You should never have lame cows after preventative trimming.

Records from all of David’s herds show that from 2014 -2018 he has reduced the two main hoof lesions year on year:

Where David has made the biggest reduction is with the farms that he provides timed trimming twice a year. (Dry trim 100 DIM):

A clear indication of how twice yearly preventative trimming can reduce lameness is shown from one farm below. (Policy change on farm in 2016 when they went back to once a year trimming):

Total Hoof Care can achieve the same results for you and your cows, with regular visits providing functional timed trimming. For more information on Total Hoof Care services or to book a visit please call Shaun on 07498 332352 or our Bideford practice on 01237 870456


We’re looking for a new Vet Tech to join the Torch Farm Vets team. Visit our website to find out more.


We are fully supportive of the National BVD Stamp It Out eradication campaign.

As part of that objective you will be aware that we secured funding for 120 farms with breeding cattle to assess their current BVD status with the option for additional funding to support Persistently Infected (PI) hunts where active BVD infection has been identi fied.

The following summarises where we are to date. Of note, we have confirmed active BVD infecti on and had PI hunts approved on 6 out of the 34 clients farms we have sampled. This highlights the importance and value of the initiative in terms of this often hidden disease and the risk posed to cattle herds.

• Enrolled farms to date 104/120 target

• Enrolled farms that have completed risk assessment visit and BVD check tests to determine whether active BVD infection is present = 34

• Number of holdings where active BVD infection has been confirmed and PI hunt has been approved = 6 (out of the 34 farms sampled so far -18%)

There is no additional funding available for any more than 120 farms at the current time. If you have not enrolled but wish to be added to a waiting list if additional funding becomes available, or you wish to assess your BVD status anyway, please contact us at one of our locations.



A study in 2014 looked at vaccine usage on cattle farms found that 86% of farms used vaccines and less than half gave the correct

primary course!

Tips to get the best out of your vaccines:

• Maintain the cold chain: transport your vaccines home in a cool box with cold packs. If you don’t have one, ask us. We may have polystyrene boxes you can use.

• Store it correctly: ideally in a dedicated vaccine fridge. If using a domestic fridge, avoid storing it on the door (too many temperature fluctuations) or too close to the back where it may freeze. Buy a digital temperature recorder to check how well you are looking after your vaccines.

• When using the vaccine, keep bottles in a cool bag until you need them. Read the label to ensure you are dosing correctly and use the correct injection route.

The dose may vary according to species and the age of the animal. Be aware of how many doses you need to give and intervals.

Most vaccines need a course of 2 doses, 4 weeks apart for any useful immunity.

Exceptions to this include Footvax, Scabivax, Toxovax, Cevac Chlamydophila

Most vaccines can’t be given at the same time as any other vaccine.

• Vaccines have no preservatives in them and need to be used up on the day. You cannot assume it will still be any good the next day, especially when we are protecting against fatal diseases.

• Actual vaccine problems with vaccines are rare. Perceived failures are much more commonly due to:

– Overwhelming bacterial or viral challenge e.g. Pulpy kidney, pneumonia and poor ventilation, poor hygiene

– Insufficient colostrum e.g. rotavec corona

– The way the vaccine is used or stored

– Poor vaccine selection e.g. pneumonia due to a cause not included in the chosen vaccine

– The disease has many other underlying causes which are collectively more important than lack of immunity

– Animal unable to respond to the vaccine because they are too young; colostral immunity has neutralised the vaccine as if it were the real disease; they are too ill,

stressed or poorly fed.

Vaccines offers a double win for livestock farmers. If used correctly to prevent disease, this means improved performance and potentially reduced antibiotic usage.

Does your vaccine fridge look like these?



We will be watching the Barnstaple Chiefs take on Weston Super Mare RFC at their last home game of the season on Saturday

13 April. There’s still time to reserve your space(s) – please join us for a drink and a bite to eat from 1:30pm, with kick-off at


Please let us know if you are coming by Wednesday 10 April by calling 01271 879516 or emailing jocarr@torchvets.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The sheep team is lining up another event in our series of ewe productivity meetings.

This time we will focus on managing the ewe to get her back into condition well ahead of tupping. To achieve this, monitoring lamb growth is essential. We will look at factors limiting lamb daily live weight gain to ensure lambs can make the transition well.

We will also discuss the idea of forming a lamb benchmarking group.

The meeting is planned for Thursday 9th May and will be free for Torch gold and silver contract clients.

Details will follow, please register your interest by contacting your branch.


You can now access free advice on practical, cost-effective measures to reduce the risk and impact of TB on farm.

We are now delivering the TB Advisory Service, which is Defra funded through the Rural Development Programme for England.

Take advantage of this extremely worthwhile, free initiative which offers completely bespoke advice based on your individual situation, either by telephone or

during an on-farm visit. Our experienced team of advisors can provide recommendations to prevent TB incursions in herds that are currently clear, whilst discussing trading options and measures to prevent repeated infection for farms that are currently under TB restrictions.

Advisors will ask you about your farm setup, any concerns that you have and issues you may face in the future, and you will receive a bespoke report detailing the practical actions you can take to improve your current TB risk. Don’t worry – the advisor is there to help and will not judge you or your farm. The recommendations are suggestions and there is no penalty if you don’t implement them.

Please speak to your vet or get in touch with your usual practice to find out more. Or visit tbas.org.uk