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How farmer-vet dialogue can ease some of the COVID-19 strain

7th May 2020 / By Gemma Thwaites

In the latest in our series on the mental health implications of the COVID-19 outbreak, pig vet Gemma Thwaites, from Garth Pig Practice and a member of NPA’s Pig Industry Group, explains how dialogue beween farmer and vet can help

ThwaitesSince the outbreak of COVID-19, I have certainly noticed a number of clients who have needed extra support.

They are generally under a degree of pressure and this has increased significantly.

This has mainly been concerns regarding the ‘What if?’ scenarios, especially those that result in staff being unable to attend and worries regarding the correct care of their stock in this instance.

Farm managers feel responsible for their staff and their families and of course their own families too. 

Full social distancing is very difficult on a farm, if not impossible in certain situations so there is a level of risk. General stress levels are higher and this is impacting the relationships between the staff, especially where some feel that others are not taking the precautions seriously enough.

It is more the fear of the unknown, so talking things through and assisting with contingency planning helps to reassure them. 

It is a very difficult time for us all as things are changing all of the time, many look to their vets as an ‘expert’ and so want to talk things through with them.

  • You can read more on the NPA's drive to ensure we look out for each other here

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