Government bid for TB free England

South West Farmer: PEDIGREE: One of the Dunnerdale cows sold at the Cheshire auction

6:00am Wednesday 16th April 2014

The Government has announced it wants England to be “TB free” by 2038 and set out a plan to achieve this.

Learn to read your cow's mind

South West Farmer: Hit-and-run driver leaves cow for dead

6:00am Tuesday 15th April 2014

Farmers who have ever wondered what goes on inside a cow's brain will be given an insight thanks to a new course being run at Duchy College, Stoke Climsland.

£90 million for centres of innovation - do pigs & poultry want their share?

South West Farmer: £90 million for centres of innovation - do pigs & poultry want their share?

3:32pm Friday 11th April 2014

The Government has made £90 million available for UK centres for innovation as part of its strategy to make UK farming more competitive, productive, resilient and sustainable.

Experts warn sheep farmers of Nematodirus risk

South West Farmer: Lesley Stubbings

3:00pm Thursday 10th April 2014

Farmers are being warned by sheep experts to act now to protect vulnerable lambs against Nematodirus. The vast majority of cases occur in the spring putting young lambs at great risk. However, changing weather patterns mean that this particularly nasty disease can now also be seen in the autumn.

Simple Beef System pays dividends for Devon family farm

South West Farmer: Cecil Partridge with his cattle

7:00pm Wednesday 9th April 2014

It’s a great testimonial to excellent stockman ship to see cattle all contented and quiet in their sheds on the day of one of the worst storms recorded in the South West.

NWF Agriculture and Duchy College combine to hold Cow Signals Workshop

South West Farmer: Just relax tough guy: You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here.

5:00pm Wednesday 9th April 2014

NWF Agriculture is holding a Cow Signals Workshop for all agricultural students at Duchy College, Stoke Climsland on Friday 25th April commencing at 10am and concluding at 3pm.

Farmer's despair as cattle lost to bovine TB

South West Farmer: Cow trapped

10:50am Tuesday 8th April 2014

Dorset dairy farmer Paul Gould is facing the prospect of losing nearly a quarter of his closed dairy herd after the animals reacted positively at his latest routine bovine TB test.

Keep dogs from attacking livestock

South West Farmer: These two Cheshire Dogs Home pets need a new home

8:16am Tuesday 8th April 2014

The BVA is asking dog owners to support a new campaign and keep their pets on leads near livestock as recent figures confirm that attacks have risen by more than 50 per cent in the last three years.

New Schmallenberg vaccine launched

South West Farmer: New Schmallenberg vaccine launched

12:02pm Monday 7th April 2014

A new Schmallenberg vaccine – SBVvax – is now available from Merial Animal Health after receiving approval for use in sheep and cattle in the UK.

NFU respond to Government's TB Free Strategy

South West Farmer: £20m river funding ‘not enough’

4:49pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

Farmers will be 'bitterly disappointed' in the decision not to roll out badger culls, say the NFU.

Government abandons plans to roll out badger cull

South West Farmer: Stop the badger cull

2:41pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

The Government has abandoned its plans to roll out the badger cull after two pilot studies in the south west y proved it was ineffective.

Cornwall Farmers customer wins £999 saddle

South West Farmer: Cornwall Farmers customer wins £999 saddle

6:00am Thursday 3rd April 2014

Cornwall Farmers’ equine roadshow is underway, and the first event at their Patch & Acre store in Penzance on Saturday 29 March attracted a great turnout.

Charles Sercombe back in the NFU livestock chair

South West Farmer: Charles Sercombe

4:19pm Tuesday 25th March 2014

Leicestershire farmer Charles Sercombe has been unanimously re-elected chairman of the NFU’s national livestock board.

Beef industry should take heart and invest

South West Farmer: James Thornton

3:36pm Friday 21st March 2014

The latest sets of 2013 farm accounts suggest that an increase in variable costs was one of the factors which pushed the beef industry into a downturn last year. But Lloyds Bank’s James Thornton says the sector should take confidence from the large number of producers who still managed to turn a profit.

Wild Beef West Country farm shop opens

3:42pm Friday 31st May 2013

Wild Beef, a family-run Dartmoor farm specialising in naturally reared and nutritionally superior beef, today announced the official launch of the Wild Beef West Country Farm Shop.

Vaccine for Schmallenberg virus now available

2:52pm Tuesday 21st May 2013

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has warmly welcomed the announcement that a vaccine to protect sheep and cattle against the Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is now available.

Heath defends badger cull

2:48pm Monday 20th May 2013

Agriculture minister David Heath has defended the imminent cull of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

South Devon's gentle giants are the "best yet"

2:47pm Monday 20th May 2013

More than 100 South Devon cattle put on a stunning display at the breed’s National Show last week.

Big increase in animal cruelty convictions, says RSPCA

8:26am Tuesday 30th April 2013

There’s been a sharp rise in the number of convictions for animal neglect and cruelty in cases brought by the RSPCA.  Convictions rose by a third in England and Wales last year.

Devon pig farm plans scrapped

8:57am Wednesday 24th April 2013

Plans for a pig farm with up to 8,000 animals in east Devon have been scrapped.

Pig farm plan in Devon

9:54am Friday 12th April 2013

Teignbridge planners are considering a proposal for a pig farm by the Exe Estuary in Devon.  Up to 8,000 pigs could be farmed at JMW Farms, on the Powderham Estate.  Although no planning application has yet been submitted, council officials are considering a scoping report.

Horse painkiller drug found in Asda corned beef

8:37am Wednesday 10th April 2013

Asda is recalling its range of budget corned beef after low levels of the veterinary pain killer phenylbutazone – known as bute – were detected.

NFU demands help for stricken livestock farmers

9:00am Saturday 6th April 2013

Livestock farmers left to deal with large numbers of dead sheep and lambs following the cold snap believe the Government and the National Fallen Stock Company have neglected to enact the one measure which would make a real difference. After a week of negotiations with Defra officials, the NFU has written to Secretary of State Owen Paterson to appeal again for financial help to allow the free collection and professional disposal of dead animals that are now beginning to be stacked up in farm yards as the snow thaws. Farmers have been battling to save sheep where possible but many are now at a low-ebb, emotionally and financially. Some have lost up to half of their breeding stock and the lack of grass and feed to sustain the rest is a real concern. Although Defra has announced a limited relaxation of the rules to allow farmers to burn or bury dead stock on farm, the NFU says Defra has so far refused to take the one single action that would really help farmers by committing to a package to collect those dead animals and dispose of them responsibly. This has left farmers to shoulder the burden of cleaning up these animals which may end up costing thousands of pounds. NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “In some areas of the country, we could be talking of huge losses for individual farms. No-one wants to see piles of burning animals in the countryside - it is not practical or desirable to dig pits to bury large numbers on-farm. It also flies in the face of what we have been told over the past few years from government about dealing with dead livestock responsibly. “The only other options are for the farmers to pay someone to collect their dead sheep, or for them to load up their own lifeless flock into farm trailers and drive miles across the countryside to the knackers yard. This is yet another pressure for farmers who have been brought to their knees by a year that has seen upland livestock farm incomes halved, topped by the worst spring snow in living memory. “It is not fair or reasonable for government to expect families who have spent the past week digging their animals out of the snow to deal with the clean up entirely by themselves. We are not ungrateful for the measures that Government have announced but they are requiring farmers to do things which are simply not practical in the situation which they face.

Defra permits on-farm burials and burning to cope with mountain of fallen stock

12:00am Saturday 6th April 2013

Defra has permitted the on-farm burial or burning of carcases for farmers affected by the bad weather.

Fallen stock up 15% - and figures expected to worsen

9:27am Thursday 4th April 2013

Farmers and smallholders have seen a huge increase in the number of dead sheep and lambs - even before the recent heavy snow in Scotland and Wales.

Rare Large Whites killed in Dorset fire

8:50am Tuesday 2nd April 2013

It has now emerged that the fire which swept through a Dorset farm on Friday has devastated a business specialising in breeding rare Large White pigs.

Dorset fire kills 900 pigs

9:17am Monday 1st April 2013

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a fire which killed nearly 900 pigs have at a farm in Dorset.

Buy British, urges NFU

1:00pm Saturday 30th March 2013

The NFU has urged the public to buy British to support livestock farmers who are continuing to battle against the extreme weather in many parts of the country.

NADIS parasite warning

1:40pm Friday 29th March 2013

The National Animal Disease Information Service is warning the spring season from April will bring high parasite risks for sheep and cattle, particularly affecting new-borns and the very young.

Police shoot cow in primary school car park

8:55am Thursday 28th March 2013

Police in Lincolnshire have been labelled heavy-handed after they shot dead an 'aggressive' Belgian blue cow in a primary school car park.  A Facebook page called “Grantham runaway cow RIP,” criticising the police for not knowing how to handle the animal, has so far attracted more than 2,400 “likes.”

Breakthrough vaccine for foot and mouth disease

10:00pm Wednesday 27th March 2013

Scientists have developed a new methodology to produce a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Because the vaccine is all synthetic, made up of tiny protein shells designed to trigger optimum immune response, it doesn’t rely on growing live infectious virus and is therefore much safer to produce. 

Badgers and cattle rarely meet, say scientists

9:21am Wednesday 27th March 2013

Direct contact between badgers and cattle is rare, suggesting that it as a result it may be rare for bovine tuberculosis (TB) to be passed on through the two species meeting each other on pasture, new research by the Royal Veterinary College and the Food and Environment Research Agency published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection (Cambridge University Press) reveals.

Snow brings havoc to hill farms

2:58pm Monday 25th March 2013

Heavy snow has brought havoc to  farms across the UK.  There are reports of livestock being buried in several metres of snow, particularly in Scotland and northern England.

Britain now has fewer pigs than any time since 1952

9:20am Monday 25th March 2013

The UK pig herd has fallen to its lowest level since 1952.   The 2012 livestock census reports that pig numbers fell 2.4% to just over 4 million.  Other European countries report a similar decline.

Cornwall's Goatman back in court over animal ban

3:46pm Thursday 21st March 2013

The 'Goatman' of Cornwall has been back in court this week, for flouting a ban on keeping the animals.

Green light for Holsworthy market project

9:00am Monday 18th March 2013

The formal go-ahead is expected later today for Holsworthy’s new livestock market.

Auction markets have 'vital role' in food chain trust

5:40pm Monday 11th March 2013

The Livestock Auctioneers Association has said auction markets have a vital role to play in restoring shoppers’ trust in the food chain.

Smallholders warned over antibiotic resistance

5:14pm Monday 11th March 2013

The Government's Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has warned that serious action must be taken to prevent antibiotic resistance in bacteria becoming a ‘catastrophic' threat to public health.

Tougher welfare regime to follow AHVLA report on Ramsgate sheep slaughter

8:34am Tuesday 5th March 2013

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has published its report on the slaughter of more than 40 sheep at Ramsgate port last September.

Europe should unite to support lamb prices, says NFU

11:34am Monday 4th March 2013

The impact of the fall in lamb prices is being felt by farmers across Europe and it is essential that EU farming organisations act as one to tackle it, the NFU has said. 

Sheep stolen and butchered in south Devon

11:33am Friday 1st March 2013

Police are investigating a series of attacks in south Devon where sheep appear to have been killed for meat.

Dorset reserved for badger cull, says Paterson

1:27pm Wednesday 27th February 2013

Dorset has been named as a reserve area for a badger cull should plans for pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset fall through.

Frozen burger sales drop 43%

9:19am Wednesday 27th February 2013

Sales of frozen burger have dropped by 43% in the first four weeks of the horse meat scandal, according to research by Kantar Worldpanel.  Sales of frozen ready meals fell 13%.  Fresh burgers and grill sales were down 6% in value over the same period.

Irish agriculture minister should quit EU post, says animal welfare charity

9:47am Monday 25th February 2013

Compassion in World Farming is calling on the Irish Agriculture Minister to quit as President of the EU Agriculture Council, following the news that live cattle exports to Libya are resuming this week.  The resumption coincides with Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.

Court date for RSPCA live export hearing

8:44am Monday 25th February 2013

The RSPCA has been granted an oral hearing for its legal challenge to ban live animal exports from Ramsgate port.  The hearing will be held in open court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on 10 May.

Birds Eye withdraws "horse meat" ready meals

10:01am Friday 22nd February 2013

Birds Eye has withdrawn three beef ready meals from supermarkets in the UK and Ireland as a precaution after horse DNA was found in a product in Belgium.

Beef producers accuse supermarkets of "bullying"

8:49am Thursday 21st February 2013

The National Beef Association has accused supermarkets of “bullying” food producers into a low price culture and creating the conditions which have brought about the horse meat scandal.

Horse meat scandal boosts livestock sales at auction

8:10am Thursday 21st February 2013

The backlash over processed food in the wake of the horse meat scandal is proving to have a beneficial effect on farmers, with an increase in demand for beef from trusted sources.

Neil returns to World Wide Sires

South West Farmer: Neil Greggor

4:20pm Wednesday 20th February 2013

Former Holstein classifier Neil Greggor has joined World Wide Sires UK, where he is working as an evaluator for the company’s mating programme across the south of England.

Anti-biting agent 'could reduce Schmallenberg cases'

12:49pm Wednesday 20th February 2013

A pesticide manufacturer believes it has developed a product that could drastically reduce the cases of Schmallenberg Virus, claiming “prevention is better than cure.”








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