A subsidised scheme that could save farmers significant money and time in the animal post-mortem process has been set up in Dumfries and Galloway.
SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has established a pilot carcase collection service that could eventually be rolled out into other parts of the country.
Running until at least the end of March, the initial trial is using Scottish Government funding to offer a fixed-price pick-up service to farmers with a ‘DG’ postcode
It is designed to increase accessibility to SAC Consulting’s subsidised farm animal post-mortem service, particularly for farmers more remote from the Dumfries Disease Surveillance Centre, who could potentially face round-trips of more than four hours.
Regardless of the farm’s distance to the Centre, the price of uplifting a single animal is £70, rising to £80 for two animals and £90 for three. A bag of small carcases (for example: lambs or abortion material) weighing up to 25kg will be considered a ‘single’ animal.
The collection and delivery fee does not include the costs of the post-mortem investigation or carcase disposal.
Colin Mason, Veterinary Centre Manager at SAC Consulting Vet Services Dumfries, said: “The death of any livestock on farm can be very stressful, with worries over welfare impact, financial losses and potential disease risk to other stock.
“A quality post-mortem examination provides vital information about disease on farm, and allows vets and farmers to plan for control going forward. SAC Consulting Veterinary Services reports initial results within 24 hours and has a diagnostic rate of above 80 per cent. Sometimes the most valuable information is just being able to exclude diseases that would have a serious impact on herd health.
“We are aware that one of the barriers to carrying out post-mortem examinations is the time and logistics to transport an animal to the nearest SAC Consulting disease surveillance centre. This scheme is designed to help farmers who face this kind of barrier and, if the pilot is a success, we will look to expand it into other parts of Scotland.”
The pilot scheme is operated by Dundas Chemical Company. The aim is to have same-day delivery for calls received by 9.30am, or next-day delivery whenever possible. If this is not possible, farmers will be informed within half an hour of the request.
To make use of the service, farmers must be a member of the National Fallen Stock Company, which they can join at www.nfsco.co.uk
They should also discuss the case with their vet to check whether a post-mortem is advised, and to exclude the risk of any notifiable disease.
To request an uplift, farmers should call 03300 557 526