BVA highlights flood risk to livestock welfare

In the wake of Storm Aileen, the British Veterinary Association has highlighted the impact flooding could have on small holders and farmers after 43 per cent of vets in flood-prone areas reported loss of livestock, lameness or other welfare problems following the UK’s last major storm-flooding in winter 2015/16.

A survey of the BVA’s members immediately after Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank showed that a third of vets living in flood-affected areas reported that their clients had lost livestock due to the flooding, while around a quarter of vets reported cases of flood-related lameness.

John Fishwick, the BVA’s junior vice president, said standing in water and deep mud can exacerbate infections and diseases in cattle, sheep, goats and other livestock, such as foot rot.

Mr Fishwick said: “The impact of storms and flooding on animal welfare can be devastating. So, we’re encouraging all livestock owners to exercise caution during extreme wet weather and take precautions where they can.

This could help minimise loss of animals, both from diseases spread in these conditions and the possibility of being unable to reach animals that are in distress – hopefully reducing the personal impact many people will already be feeling from Storm Aileen.”

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