In the United Kingdom it is mandatory for organic livestock farms to have an animal health plan as a document providing evidence of active management of disease and building positive health (Anon 2006). Many organisations, both organic and non organic, (e.g. BCVA, Defra Compendium of UK Organic Standards, Soil Association, RSPCA Freedom Food, NDFAS, FAWL) develop, describe and use animal health planning as a part of their strategy (see Box 1). Currently, it is the presence of a regularly updated health plan document that serves as evidence that this is in place. \ud \ud The benefits of health plans, including animal welfare improvement, financial gain and increased farm efficacy have all been highlighted in various publications (Sibley 2000, Gray & Hovi 2001, Dobbs 2005, Lovatt 2004). It has frequently been suggested that, through good stockmanship and appropriate use of veterinary medicinal products, health planning can improve the smooth running of a farm. \ud \ud An animal health plan should be an active tool for animal health and welfare planning. However, as organic certification and several farm assurance schemes require a health plan there is a danger that they become seen as something to be policed when in fact they should being used as a forum for advice. In order to fulfil this challenge a health plan must therefore be farm specific and relate to farm specific issues
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