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, SQPs, 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.
COWS has the right to refuse membership to any person or organisation if appropriate.
The Chair of COWS is rotated around the four GB levy boards – AgriSearch, AHDB, HCC and QMS. Each levy board will hold the position of chair for one year. The Chair will lead the face-to-face meetings and any virtual meetings. The new Chair will be agreed at the first full meeting of the previous Chair’s tenure – usually in May.
The Secretariat will be provided by Sara Gregson Marketing Communications Ltd. The Secretariat will work 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.
The Secretariat will organise the group meetings, including the completion of accurate minutes, which will be circulated within an appropriate timescale after the meeting. She will also assist in the coordination of any agreed group activity.
COWS members will normally have two full meetings per year, usually May and November. One of these meetings will be face-to-face. Members can add agenda items for each meeting where appropriate. Two smaller interim meetings will be held and additional teleconference/zoom calls will be planned between meetings if required.
The technical documents produced by the group will be reviewed and updated at least every five years or sooner if COWS feels newer information should be included.
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.
The budget holder will hold the cash assets, issue invoices, make payments, provide financial reports and jointly approve when payments are to be made. This post is currently held by AMTRA.
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 the COWS logo
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.
If a COWS logo is used in the promotional material of a commercial organisation, the 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 full meeting of every year, to ensure they remain up-to-date.
As agreed by the COWS group
Date agreed – 23 May 2023
Next review – May 2024
Appendix 1: COWS Members
|Beeston Animal Health||Mark Pass|
|Bishopton Veterinary Group||Leanne Ford|
|Farm First Vets||Eleri Davies|
|Farmer representative||Bruce Thompson|
|LLM Vets||Rob Howe|
|The Livestock Partnership||Claire Walker|
|University of Liverpool||Diana Williams|