Improving animal health and welfare

Cattle looking through fence
Alan Robertson

Funding to help improve the health and welfare of cattle and sheep is now available for farmers and crofters.

Up to £1250 is available over two years to support a review of a flock or herd, and help farmers consider health and welfare interventions that improve performance.

In addition, the Scottish Government is providing additional funding in 2023-24 to help increase the provision of Official Veterinarians across Scotland.  OVs undertake a range of statutory duties on behalf of Scottish Ministers, including Tuberculin Testing and the investigation of notifiable animal diseases.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Research shows healthy livestock produce less emissions, require less veterinary treatment and fewer antibiotics. Sheep and cattle make up a significant amount of the greenhouse gas emissions contributed by agriculture in Scotland.

“This new animal health and welfare payment is one of the first steps in this process and will reward farmers who take an active role in improving the health and welfare of the animals they keep.

“Official Veterinarians also play an important role in improving the health and welfare of our national herd, through Tuberculin Testing and the investigation of notifiable animal diseases. That’s why we’re providing more funding this year to help increase this important provision across the country.”

Any farming or crofting business that has an active Business Reference Number, is Rural Payments and Services online registered, and has a flock/herd number can undertake up to two interventions in each scheme year of the Programme. Each intervention will attract a standard payment of £250. With the first claim an additional £250 to cover personal development.

The online claim platform has now been updated to allow claims for AHW claims to be submitted in addition to carbon audit and soil analysis support. The process is quick and easy to use and can be accessed through the Preparing for Sustainable Farming Guidance page at where guidance and case studies can also be found.

Veterinary surgeons in Scotland are now able to apply for funding to complete the relevant qualifications to become Official Veterinarians (OVs).  More information can be found at: Official veterinarians training support - (