Control Of Worms Sustainably (COWS) is an independent industry-led group that works in the interest of the UK cattle industry. Its scope is to provide the best available technical information to vets, RAMAs , advisors and farmers on sustainable management of worms and fluke in both suckler and dairy herds. It recognises anthelmintic resistance is one of the biggest challenges to the future health, welfare and profitability of the cattle industry.

Aim of COWS

COWS aims to provide the best available, evidence-based information to the UK cattle industry in relation to the sustainable control of parasites. It will:

  • Act as a ‘champion’ in supporting and promoting industry action on worm and fluke control
  • Provide timely advice, feedback and guidance to farmers, advisers and vets
  • Identify opportunities for coordinated industry action and pooling of resources
  • Formulate and deliver appropriate communications
  • Identify opportunities and potential synergies, and scientific/technical opportunities
  • Identify knowledge gaps and provide support to address the gaps

This cross sector group will act in an independent advisory and consultative capacity to help shape and drive delivery of the COWS initiative to the UK cattle industry.

Structure of COWS


COWS membership shall be made up of members representing the industry (see Appendix 1).
The group can collectively invite and approve new organisations and individuals to join at any time.

The group has the right to refuse membership to any person or organisation if appropriate.


  1. The Chair for the group is rotated around the four levy boards. Each levy board will hold the position of chair for one year before rotating. The secretariat will be provided by AHDB. The secretariat works closely with the Chair in developing the agenda and ensuring that the necessary papers for each meeting are with the members at least one week prior to the meeting.

COWS members will normally have two face-to-face meetings per year, usually May and November. Members are able to add agenda items for each meeting where appropriate. Teleconferences will be planned between meetings if required. A subgroup of COWS will meet between meetings to discuss external communications as required.

If the group decides that a report or manual update is required, a subgroup of COWS will be involved in the planning.

The technical documents produced by the group will be reviewed and updated every five years.

Steering group Chair

The chair of the group will rotate through each of the four levy boards. The position of chair will be held for one year in which the levy board representative will chair two meetings. The new chair will agreed at the second meeting of the previous chair.


The secretariat will be provided by AHDB. The secretariat will work closely with the Chair, and will organise Group meetings including creating an agenda and completing accurate minutes. The secretariat will also assist in the coordination of any agreed Group activity.

COWS Funding

COWS is funded by contributions provided by industry bodies and match-funded by levy bodies. Currently the four industry bodies are AHDA, AMTRA, NFU and NOAH and the four levy bodies are Agrisearch, AHDB, HCC and QMS.

A farmer representative will sit on the group and their expenses to travel to the group meeting will be paid for by COWS.
Individuals may also be asked to join the group for specific meeting(s) as guests, to input on specific topics.

Guest’s time and travel will be covered by the organisation they represent unless otherwise agreed by the group in advance of the meeting. Guest speaker’s fees will be approved by the group prior to booking speaker.

To reduce costs, group representatives are asked to provide meeting room facilities at no cost to COWS wherever possible.

Group representatives are encouraged to raise awareness of COWS and share COWS principles and messages within their own audiences where appropriate.

Budget holder

The budget holder will hold the cash assets, issue invoices, make payments, provide financial reports and jointly approve when payments are to be made.

COWS Subcontracts

The Group may delegate actions to individuals and/or organisations for an agreed fee where appropriate. All such contracts must be approved in advance at a steering group meeting or by an email poll in which there is the support of over 50% of steering group members.


The group will appoint a communications lead to oversee the COWS website, issue press releases and manage social media accounts. The appointment will be reviewed annually to ensure value for money and assign an annual budget.

Use of COWS logo

The group will appoint a communications lead to oversee the COWS website, issue press releases and manage social media accounts. The appointment will be reviewed annually to ensure value for money and assign an annual budget.

COWS recognises that commercial companies manufacturing and marketing anthelmintic products may at times wish to refer to the work of COWS.
While COWS appreciates this, it will retain its absolute independence.

With this is mind, if a COWS logo is used in promotional material, that logo will be accompanied by the statement, ‘COWS does not endorse any particular pharmaceutical product or brand.’

Terms of reference

These terms of reference should be an agenda item on the first meeting of every year, to ensure they remain up-to-date.

As agreed by the COWS group
Version 1
Date agreed –
Next review –

Appendix 1: COWS Members


Organization Representative
Agrisearch Jason Rankin
AHDA Bryan Lovegrove
AHDB Rebecca Small
Lis King
Derek Armstrong
AMTRA Stephen Dawson
Animal and Plant Health Agency Natalie Jewel
Bishopton Veterinary Group Leanne Ford
British Cattle Veterinary Association Sally Wilson
Farm First Vets Eleri Davies
Farmer representative Mark Jelley
HCC Rebekah Stuart
LLM Vets Rob Howe
Moredun Dave Bartley
NFU Cat McLaughlin
NOAH Grace O’Gorman
Donal Murphy
QMS Bruce McConachie
SRUC Helen Carty
University of Liverpool Diana Williams
Veterinary Medicines Directorate Michael Stephen