Safe food is produced by healthy animals. Health and welfare are greatly influenced by the way animals are kept. The farmer is responsible to achieve optimal animal health and welfare. To support the farmer with the implementation of the above mentioned requirements the design of a Herd Health Plan for each specific farm as part of the “stable to table” approach is advisable.
The role of the farmer has changed during recent years: from ‘producing animals’ towards ‘producing food’. Current legislation therefore refers to the farmer as “food business operator” (FBO) who “shall ensure that all stages of production, processing and distribution of food under their control satisfy the relevant hygiene requirements” laid down in Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, Art 3. In addition annex I of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 lays down general hygiene requirements to be respected by food businesses at all stages of the food chain.