The increasing prevalence of liver fluke in the last few years, partly due to climate change and increased cattle movement, highlights the importance of monitoring fluke risk and treating effectively.
Fluke risk varies hugely between years and even between fields. This means religiously treating your animals every year with the same flukicide may be wasting money and promoting resistance, while ineffective treatment (with the wrong product or at the wrong time) will lead to production losses.
Housing is the ideal time of year to tackle liver fluke as cattle cannot pick up any more fluke eggs while not at grass. Monitoring liver fluke at this time allows us to guide treatment decisions.
There are various options for monitoring liver fluke that will suit different farms. Abattoir feedback provides invaluable information about a farm’s historic fluke burden, however active monitoring also be needed to assess a farm’s current status.
For instance, farms with previously high levels of fluke may benefit from blood testing a group of first grazers. Antibodies for fluke can be detected as soon as 2-4 weeks post-infection giving us the most accurate picture. However, for a farm that has a low fluke risk, or when assessing older animals, a faecal test can also be useful. Faecal egg counts performed in the practice are inexpensive and will detect adult fluke. Whereas the coproantigen test, another faecal test performed at the laboratory, will detect fluke 3 weeks before eggs are shed.
Once the presence of fluke has been confirmed, a treatment plan needs to be devised. While it is tempting to treat cattle immediately at housing, there is no fluke product that has a long enough persistent effect or one that will kill fluke down to its most immature form. The best approach to removing all fluke is for cattle to be dosed 2-10 weeks after housing, the exact time is dependent on the product used. Hence, it is best to consult your vet on the most appropriate fluke treatment for your farm.

Some changes were introduced to the bTB accreditation and entry level membership scheme on 1
August 2021:

Entry Level Plan – to be awarded a TB score, all members will have to have completed an ‘Entry Level’ membership with their own vet, in addition to having a health plan.

Resolved IRs – resolved IRs (inconclusive reactors) now have to be removed from the herd within 6 months of the initial inconclusive result. For herds that are already full TB members and have a TB score,
ResolvedIRSave to be removed by 31 January 2022, 6 months
after the introduction of this rule.

TB testing interval & earned recognition – if you wish to change your TB testing interval based on your CHECS TB score, you may have to contact APHA directly to do this if it has not been amended automatically.

For more information, please see


The aim of Torch Youngstock Lite is to offer a cost-effective way to monitor the health and growth of your calves, helping to identify issues as early as possible to maximise growth and future productivity.
We will benchmark each farm in an anonymised way to give the opportuntity to compare your stock with other farms locally.
The Youngstock Lite package includes:
An assigned VetTech to ensure a consistent approach and a regular point of contact for your farm
3 x 1 hour VetTech visits to weigh calves (using a weigh band)
12 x blood total protein to assess colostrum intake
Mortality and morbidity data collection and analysis.
There are options to upgrade to our full Youngstock Club membership offering a host of further benefits, plus to add on a colostrum analysis service – please ask a member of the team for more details.

Just a brief message to inform our clients that Neil Blake is standing down as a Director of Torch on October 1st.
The good news is that he is not going anywhere and will continue to focus on his clinical role within Torch.
Neil was instrumental in the setting up of Torch Farm and equine in 2012 and has been an important part of the continued development of the business and range of services provided to the region’s farming community. Within that time, in 2016 he also served the wider livestock industry as President of The British Cattle Veterinary Association. He feels strongly that with the recent welcome addition to the management team of Rebecca Cavill and Jennifer Rodliff, now is the right time to step back. The future of Torch is in great hands!
He simply wishes to thank all Torch clients for their support of the business since its inception in 2012.

We currently have an introductory offer running for the first 20 farms to sign up so please ask your vet or call your local branch soon to find out more!
Do you or a member of your team need to complete a Milksure course?
We are in the process of arranging some upcoming dates via Zoom. This course is for any farmers requiring Milksure certification to comply with dairy standards. It covers appropriate handling and use of medicines as well as current milk residue testing procedures.
Please email us at or call your local practice to find out more.


We were proud to sponsor the North Devon Hospice’s Nightwalk 2021 at Rosemoor Gardens on 11 September.

A team of intrepid walkers from our South Molton practice took on the challenge of the undulating 5k course, lit beautifully against the backdrop of Rosemoor’s splendid    vista – which was just as impressive in the dark.

If you would like to sponsor the team they would be extremely grateful for any contributions.

The link is: