BEEF and sheep farmers are wanted before the end of July for a pioneering project aimed at improving animal health and on-farm efficiency.

Stoc+ is one of three projects that form part of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) £9.2 million Red Meat Development Programme.

Announced nearly 12 months ago at the 2018 Royal Welsh Show, the five-year programme aims to drive the industry forward and help Welsh farming prepare for a post-Brexit world.

A keen cohort of 80 red meat producers have already signed-up for Stoc+, which is encouraging farmers and vets to collaborate to compile, review and enact proactive flock and herd health plans.

HCC is now inviting more farmers from across Wales to get involved and take advantage of the free specialist veterinary advice and support on offer.

“There are a number of reasons why farmers should get involved in Stoc+,” said HCC’s flock and herd health executive Dr Rebekah Stuart.

“Following an initial collection of farm baseline data, the benefits include a free flock and herd health plan, action plan and biosecurity plan for the farm as well as regular vet review visits.

“Proactively preventing on-farm diseases in herds and flocks, maximising the health and performance of livestock and targeting interventions effectively to reduce costs will eventually lead to increased profitability and sustainability for the farming business.

“This is a long-term project, with support available for up to three years. Interested farmers simply need to visit the HCC website between July 15-31 and fill in a short form to express their interest in taking part.”

HCC’s Industry Development activities at the Royal Welsh Show will focus on the Red Meat Development Programme projects, including Stoc+ and wider animal health issues.

At 10am on Wednesday, July 24, visitors to the show can drop by the HCC stand for free expert advice from Dr Joe Angell, of Wern Vets, who will talk about sheep lameness prevention.

This will be followed by a talk by Claire Jones (Dolgellau Vets) who will present on proactive flock health planning.

Dr Rebekah Stuart will also be on hand with information about Stoc+.

Dr Joe Angell said: “The project will enable you to investigate a problem and devise a way forward to reduce its effects on your farm.

"You might want to look into a parasite problem on your farm, or tackle issues with fluke and look at ways of controlling it in an economic way.

"There are lots of different things you could consider and there’s money available to facilitate that useful investigative and advice work to help your business become more profitable.”

To join the project, beef and sheep farmers must have a valid Customer Reference Number (CRN).

They can express their interest in participating on the HCC website -