Red Tractor Updates

New Red Tractor farm standards take effect on 1 November 2021.

As a brief summary, the changes include stronger recommendations for the use of anti-inflammatory pain relief in calves and an end to tethering of cattle. Health plans should continue to focus on proactive management to help farm improvement and need to be reviewed and signed off by your vet at least annually.

Dairy farms require a written breeding plan and a bull calf management plan to help ensure the dairy industry eliminates routine euthanasia of calves by 2023.

Beef farms will require a BVD eradication plan, written into their health plan with evidence of action towards stamping out the disease.

Beef and sheep farmers will require antibiotic collation, antimicrobial reduction plans, and medicine handling training – aligning these sectors with dairy where this has been required since 2019.

There are also new guidelines on handling livestock to reduce stress, including a ban on electrified backing gates.

Other changes include fertiliser management, health and safety training and hand washing facilities.

In the meantime, please speak to your vet for advice or to update your health plan documents. The latest information, handy guides and support to make sure your farm business is ready can be found at