Farming News - Farmers wanted to help Defra test new Annual Health and Welfare Reviews

Farmers wanted to help Defra test new Annual Health and Welfare Reviews

27 Jul 2022
Frontdesk / Livestock

The Animal Health and Welfare Pathway supports improvements in farm animal health and welfare.  

The first step of the pathway is the Annual Health and Welfare Review. Starting this autumn, farmers who keep cattle, sheep and pigs can get funding for a vet or vet-led team to visit their farm and carry out a yearly review.  

Each vet visit can last up to 3 hours. In that time, vets will offer advice on both the health and welfare of their animals and on farm biosecurity.

Buroughbridge Farmer Richard Lister & Chief Vet Christine Middlemiss.

This could include diagnostic testing, advice on the use of medicines or signposting to other financial support.   

To make sure the Annual Health and Welfare Review works before we launch it, farmers and vets have helped us test:

  • guidance for farmers on how to apply and make a claim for the review 
  • guidance for vets on how to carry out a review 
  • how farmers access and use the digital service 
  • the end-to-end process for a vet carrying out a review 

Defra are now ready to put more of the pathway to the test and need farmers to help.  

What will be tested

Defra are about to start testing several aspects of the review including: 

  • the service on GOV.UK that farmers will use. This includes the content for their applications. 
  • how vets will interact with the service. This includes basic information about each farm and the results of diagnostic testing following a vet visit.

You don’t need to be an expert with computers – all Defra need to know from you is what works and what doesn’t so they can make the service better. 

You’ll give your feedback in a survey.  

Any documents submitted while testing will all be anonymised. This is not an inspection and the information from testing won’t be used in inspections.  

Get Involved 


If you’re a registered livestock keeper in England and you're eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), we’d love to hear from you. We’re also asking that our testers keep: 

  • 11 or more beef or dairy cattle 
  • 21 or more sheep 
  • 51 or more pigs 


We need the help of vets too. If you’re a registered and practicing vet, you can take part. 

Testing Dates 

The testing will be rolled out in phases over the summer until autumn 2022 and should fit alongside your daily farming activities. 

What farmers will get for taking part

By helping to test the review, you’ll gain early access to the service.

Farmers will be paid at the standard payment rate:

  • £522 for beef cattle 
  • £372 for dairy cattle 
  • £436 for sheep 
  • £684 for pigs 

Contact Us

To get involved and find out more, email