1. An animal health and welfare strategy covering all of Great Britain has been in place since 2004. However, the devolution of animal health budgets in 2011 has given the Scottish Government more scope to set its own priorities. Scottish Ministers therefore want to have an animal health and welfare strategy that is tailored to Scotland's needs.
2. The livestock industry is an important part of Scottish agriculture, contributing £1.6 billion worth of output to the Scottish economy and employing just under 35,000 people. The industry's strengths underpin Scotland's international reputation for high quality livestock.
3. Maintaining and building on our existing high standards of animal health and welfare will enhance that reputation and will:
3.1. Enable Scottish producers to continue to command a premium in the market;
3.2. Contribute substantially to Scotland's ambition to be a Good Food Nation  by further improving the quality and taste of its produce;
3.3. Contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions through increased biological efficiency; and
3.4. Allow individual producers to reduce the direct and indirect costs associated with disease and to help improve their long term profitability.
4. Achieving these benefits in a world of increasing globalisation (including international trade in livestock and livestock products), population growth and climate change needs industry and government to continue to work together. It is that need for a collective vision for the future that has prompted the development of a new animal health and welfare strategy for livestock.