Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is Paramount at Littleton Farm.  Active Herd Health Planning is focused on achieving and maintaining maximum welfare standards
Legislative guides used at Littleton farm.

  • The UK Dairy Industry’s Dairy Cow Welfare Strategy
  • Farm Animal Welfare Council’s Five Freedoms
  • The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007

A Healthy Cow Is A Happy Cow.
A Happy Cow Is A Productive Cow.

Our farm management team of specialist Nutritionists, Veterinary Surgeons and highly trained farm staff work together to ensure animal welfare is prioritised at all times.

Active Disease Control Programs:

Disease surveillance, recording and monitoring.
Stringent bio-security measures to optimise herd health and prevent disease breakdown.
The cost of infective disease outbreaks is not only measured in production loss but also has significant welfare implications.

We vaccinate and treat for the following diseases:



Lameness has a significant impact on not only production but also animal welfare. It has been described as the single most cause of distress in UK Dairy cattle.

Monthly mobility scoring of the herd allows problem cows to be highlighted for attention.
Recording and monitoring of mobility scores allows herd bench marking and ensures animal welfare is optimised and herd targets are met.



  • Is a pestivirus infection of cattle which is endemic in the UK
  • Herds infected with BVD suffer significant losses resulting from infertility in the cattle, abortions reproductive disorders, reduced immunity in calves leading to pneumonia and diarrhoea
  • The virus infects susceptible pregnant cows. The mother has a transient infection and is immune within 2-3 weeks. The virus crosses the placenta and infects  the foetus in the uterus. The foetus will then either die and be reabsorbed, aborted or be born alive. Calves born alive will always have poor growth and remains infected throughout the pregnancy and, after birth, for the lifetime of the animal. (what we call pa persistanlty infected PI animal)
  • PI animals usually die young, however whilst they remain alive they shed huge quantities of virus and act as the most significant source of infection for cattle in contact with them
  • Disease control at Littleton farm is  achieved by testing for and removing PI animals from the herd and also vaccination of breeding animals to protect them from circulating virus


Is highly infectious and caused by a herpes virus. This particular strain only infects cattle and in many ways is similar to the virus that cuases human cold sores

  • The most common symptoms of IBR are fever, coughing and discharge from the nose and eyes. Other symptoms include pneumonia, abortion, venereal infection; fever and milk drop in dairy cows, and deaths in young calves.
  • After the first infection, virus is never totally removed from the animal. It stays behind in nerve cells in the brain as a life-long latent (hidden) infection. However, at times of stress the virus can begin to multiply again and may be re-excreted, generally from the nose and the eyes
  • Control is based on diagnosis of antibody positive animals that have been exposed and the use of vaccines to reduce the shedding of the virus.
  • Herd vaccination is utilised at littleton farm.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection. It is important not only because of its detrimental effects on the health and production of the herd, but also because it is transmissible to humans from cattle.
It usually affects pregnant or lactating cows causing fever, a flabby mastitis with severe drop in milk production, milk discolouration and abortion
infected animals can shed the bacteria in their urine for many months or even years, causing new infections in any susceptible animals.

A vaccination program can provide long-term immunity in cattle against leptospirosis, thus protecting the herd and humans from the disease.
Herd vaccination is utilised at Littleton farm



  • Is a chronic, debilitating disease caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium paratuberculosis
  • Young animals are the most susceptible and become infected by ingesting infected colostrum or faecal contamination containing the bacteria.
  • The disease causes an  incurable chronic intestinal inflammation resulting in watery diarrhoea and wasting of the animal. The disease has a long progression and infected calves can appear normal until the age of about 3years old onwards.
  • On farm milk and blood sampling undertaken quarterly allows disease monitoring and surveillance at Littleton farm.


  • Mastitis is inflammation and infection of the mammary glands of the cow.
  • It is very common and is mostly caused by bacteria either spreading from cow to cow (contagious) or environment to cow (environmental)

Mastitis surveillance, recording and monitoring allows rapid detection and appropriate therapy of individual cases.

Cow Comfort

At Littleton farm we appreciate that cow comfort is paramount to managing a trouble free, healthy dairy herd.
Buildings are designed with cow comfort in mind and to promote normal animal behaviour and interactions.

Pharmaceutical usage

At Littleton farm veterinary recording and monitoring of pharmaceutical usage promotes the responsible use of antimicrobials and that only the appropriate medicine is used at the appropriate time.