Apply for animal productivity, health and welfare grants
Farmers can apply for a grant to improve the productivity and health of their livestock, through the Countryside Productivity Scheme
Farmers can apply to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for a grant to fund technology that improves the health and productivity of their livestock.
This grant is part of the Countryside Productivity Scheme
How much funding is available
Grants will cover up to 40% of the total eligible costs of the proposal.
This grant is a small grant, which means applicants can only apply for from £2,500 to £35,000.
What the grant will fund
Automated dairy cow lameness detection
Applicants can apply for funding to buy gait analysis equipment such as sensor platforms and controllers and associated software (not computers, connection charges, licence fees or subscriptions) to help diagnose lameness in dairy cows more quickly.
The systems work through pressure sensing platforms which automatically identify individual cows passing through them and analyse and ‘score’ the cow’s steps. The force and duration of steps are monitored to assess the cow’s gait for any early signs of lameness.
Applicants can apply for funding to buy collar-based rumination monitors and software associated with rumination monitoring technologies (not bolus type rumination detectors, computers, connection charges, licence fees or subscriptions) to check how often and for how long suckler and dairy cows are ruminating.
Monitoring rumination can help identify any productivity, health or welfare issues in the cow.
When applying for a grant for this equipment, the supplier literature and quotes must identify that the system has features that are specific to rumination monitoring.
Devices for on-farm analysis of livestock foodstuffs
Applicants can apply for funding to buy precision feeding systems to analyse silage, forage and feedstuffs that are fed to livestock to improve livestock rationing. This may include hand held devices for analysis and real time analysis systems.
Components of systems eligible for grant are weighing indicators, forage analysis and information transfer devices and associated software. This does not include grant feeder wagons, personal computers, printers, mobiles, connection charges, licence fees or subscriptions.
Applicants can apply for funding to buy automated detection systems that help predict calving for suckler and dairy cows.
Thermometers, sensors, base station systems and associated software are eligible for grant. This does not include CCTV cameras, mobile phones, SMS subscription charges or other service charges.
Equipment must have at least a 5-year lifespan, including thermometers and sensors. This must be confirmed on the quotes provided with the application.
Activity monitors to detect oestrus
Applicants can apply for funding to buy motion detectors, recording equipment and associated software that detect oestrus in suckler cows. (Not bolus type detectors, personal computers, printers, mobile phones, connection charges, licence fees or subscriptions).
When applying for a grant for this equipment the supplier literature and quotes must specifically identify that the system has design features that are specific to oestrus monitoring.
Real-time monitoring of pig production
Applicants can apply for funding to buy sensors, hardware and associated software that monitor and control temperature, humidity, ventilation and electricity consumption in pig buildings. This does not include personal computers, printers, mobile phones, connection charges, licence fees or subscriptions
Static handling and weighing systems
Applicants can apply to fund a static (not mobile) handling and weighing system for cattle and sheep, provided it has all of the following:
- a fixed electronic identification (EID) reader to read the tags of each animal
- electronic weighing facilities linked to the EID
- a non-slip race facility to hold and isolate individual animals
- recognised industry guidance, for example the Scottish Agricultural College’s technical note 565 and technical note 606 or the Eblex handling manuals
- endorsed by the applicant’s vet for its design and size, how it benefits specific husbandry needs and how it uses chosen industry guidance
- designed to minimise the risk of pollution
The proposed system needs to be able to do all the following:
- sort and load livestock
- support condition monitoring
- support the performance of key husbandry tasks like worming, vaccinating, scanning, foot trimming, shearing and dipping
Costs that are not eligible for funding
If applying for a handling system, the eligible costs of the project will be reduced by £500. This is because basic handling facilities are an industry requirement, which makes them ineligible for funding.
How to apply
To apply for this grant, the applicant must:
- register with the Rural Payments online service (if they have not already done so)
- complete a small grant application form
- collect evidence to support the application
- send the completed small grant application form and supporting evidence to the RPA – read about how to send applications
Read more about how to apply for Countryside Productivity grants.
Evidence to send with an application
Find out what evidence to send with any Countryside Productivity small grant application.
For animal productivity, health and welfare grants, the applicant should include a written, signed and dated statement from a vet that:
- supports the proposed investments
- states how the plan meets the specific husbandry needs of the business
Evidence for static handling and weighing systems
If applying to fund a static handling and weighing system the applicant also needs to send:
- a copy of the proposed layout of the handling facility
- a plan showing the facility’s location within the holding
- a copy of the guidance that the design is based on, eg Scottish Agricultural College or Eblex.
The application needs to show:
- how the proposal meets best practice and minimises pollution
- the tasks the proposal allows which the current system doesn’t
- how the proposal will improve farm sales and profitability – using figures if possible.
- what happens after applying
- what to do if an application is successful
- what to do if an application is unsuccessful
Find out what other equipment is eligible for grants under the Countryside Productivity Scheme.
Applicants can apply for multiple small grants in one application, or multiple large grants in one application.
Applicants can’t apply for a mix of small and large grants in one application.