Livestock – Farming Monthly National https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk UK Farming Magazine & Agricultural News Thu, 25 Oct 2018 15:07:21 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 EU bans prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11179-eu-bans-prophylactic-use-of-antibiotics-in-farming/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11179-eu-bans-prophylactic-use-of-antibiotics-in-farming/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2018 15:07:21 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11179 The European Parliament has today (25 October 2018) approved new legislation to come into force in 2022, banning the prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming. Preventative antibiotics can be routinely given to farm animals – particularly to pigs and poultry – to compensate for the substandard living conditions where disease outbreaks are common and harder […]

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antibiotics in farming

The European Parliament has today (25 October 2018) approved new legislation to come into force in 2022, banning the prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming.

Preventative antibiotics can be routinely given to farm animals – particularly to pigs and poultry – to compensate for the substandard living conditions where disease outbreaks are common and harder to control, and to prevent infection, for example in the early weaning of pigs.

Estimates suggest that in Europe two thirds of our antibiotics are used on livestock animals [1]. The overuse of antibiotics has become a growing concern as there is strong evidence to suggest that it has contributed to an increase in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can spread to people, rendering antibiotics ineffective for both humans and animals.

According to the latest estimates, 73% of the world’s antibiotics are used in farming [2] and the EU’s position on farm antibiotic use is now largely consistent with that of the World Health Organization, which last year produced guidelines on farm antibiotic use [3]. The WHO called for an end to preventative group treatments and for severe restrictions on the use of certain antibiotics classified as high-priority critically important in human medicine.

This new legislation is a huge step away from preventative group treatments of healthy animals towards a more responsible use of antibiotics in livestock farming.

Preventative antibiotic treatments for individual animals will still be permitted in exceptional circumstances where the risk of disease is high. Group treatments will also be allowed if disease has been diagnosed in some of the animals and there is a high risk it will spread to others, and no alternative treatments are available.

The new EU legislation still needs to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers, but provisional approval by the Council was given earlier this year.

Compassion in World Farming has been working with the food industry to encourage the adoption of farming practices that prioritise animal health and welfare, reducing the need for antibiotics to be routinely used. Making improvements to production systems – such as the lowering of stocking density and using more robust breeds – are essential to significantly lower or remove the need for, antibiotics.

For example, recent data from the Netherlands (2016) showed that market concepts using slower growing broiler breeds used more than 3 times less antibiotics than those using fast growing breeds.

Compassion has developed an Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (ASP) to encourage companies to adopt a roadmap for responsible antibiotic use with the aim of eliminating or robustly regulating the use of antimicrobials.

Ines Ajuda, Research Manager, Food Business at Compassion adds: “By operating a higher welfare system – underpinned by good management and good welfare – any company with animals in its supply chain can reduce or totally remove its reliance on antibiotics.

The responsible use of antibiotics is a key element of corporate responsibility and an effective ASP is vital to protect animal health and welfare today and maintain the efficacy of our antibiotics into the future. We welcome the new EU legislation.”

This landmark legislation will only come into force in 2022, post-Brexit, and Michael Gove MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that during the negotiations over the regulations, the UK “did voice concerns about the restriction of prophylaxis to individual animals” [4].

The Government says it intends to implement the provisions of the new legislation, but refuses to accept that the EU legislation bans preventative group treatments [4][5]. The Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate claimed, incorrectly, that the legislation is ambiguous and does not restrict the administration preventative treatments to individual animals [6]. Michael Gove said that the Government will “work constructively with stakeholders to agree how these restrictions can be implemented in practice” [4], which suggests that there is no guarantee the UK will in practice ban preventative group treatments.

Cóilín Nunan, Campaign Manager for the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics with whom Compassion has been working warns: “The Government must commit to banning preventative group treatments. The latest data shows that the UK farming industry is making good progress in reducing its antibiotic use, and the poultry industry has even voluntarily banned group prevention. If the government rejects the EU ban, the UK could end up with some of the weakest regulatory standards in Europe, which will raise questions about the kinds of trade deals we will be seeking with non-EU countries that often use much higher levels of antibiotics in farming. Importing low-quality meat produced with high levels of antibiotics will inevitably undermine UK progress.”

Compassion urges UK farmers to adopt an ASP that future proofs their operation regardless of what happens post Brexit but importantly maintains the efficacy of our antibiotics into the future too. To download Compassion’s advice on how to develop an effective Antibiotic Stewardship Programme visit www.compassioninfoodbusiness.com

 

 

[1]          https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4872
[2]          https://cddep.org/blog/posts/global-plan-cut-antimicrobial-use-animals/
[3]          http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/07-11-2017-stop-using-antibiotics-in-healthy-animals-to-prevent-the-spread-of-antibiotic-resistance
[4]          Letter from Michael Gove MP to Zac Goldsmith MP, October 2018
[5]          https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-08/176052/
[6]          Veterinary Medicines Directorate Stakeholder meeting, July 2018

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Animal welfare enhanced by new code for laying hens and pullets https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11166-animal-welfare-enhanced-by-new-code-for-laying-hens-and-pullets/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11166-animal-welfare-enhanced-by-new-code-for-laying-hens-and-pullets/#respond Wed, 08 Aug 2018 12:19:58 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11166 The welfare code for laying hens has today been updated as part of a programme of reforms to safeguard and enhance the welfare of animals. Strengthened statutory guidance is now in place for keepers and owners of laying hens and pullets on how to meet the needs of their birds and enhance their welfare. This […]

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The welfare code for laying hens has today been updated as part of a programme of reforms to safeguard and enhance the welfare of animals.

Strengthened statutory guidance is now in place for keepers and owners of laying hens and pullets on how to meet the needs of their birds and enhance their welfare.

This welfare code has been updated to reflect the very latest advice from vets and animal husbandry developments, as part of a programme of reforms to safeguard and enhance the welfare of animals, the Minister for Animal Welfare, Lord Gardiner announced today.

Minister for Animal Welfare, Lord Gardiner, said:

“We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and are going further in a number of areas, including our plans to raise maximum sentences for animal cruelty to five years and making CCTV mandatory in abattoirs.

“This code was carefully consulted on with industry experts, and uses the most recent scientific and veterinary advice to ensure this clear guidance provides the best advice to owners and keepers to help ensure the high welfare standards of their animals.

Animal keepers are now expected to provide a more enriched environment for all laying hens to enable them to display more of their natural behaviours such as foraging, helping to ensure more fulfilled and healthier animals. The user-friendly codes also provide detailed guidance to animal keepers on how to assess the welfare of their animals, as well as on contingency planning to help ensure the welfare of their animals during any emergencies.

The codes will be used by enforcement bodies including Animal and Plant Health Agency inspectors and local authorities when investigating allegations of poor welfare to look at whether animal welfare standards are being met.

The full code is available to read online

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Arla farmers join forces to increase resilience and profitability https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/dairy/11145-arla-farmers-join-forces-to-increase-resilience-and-profitability/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/dairy/11145-arla-farmers-join-forces-to-increase-resilience-and-profitability/#respond Tue, 15 May 2018 12:51:32 +0000 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11145 Over 300 farmers have signed to Arla’s new R500 programme designed to help future proof their farms and increase resilience to the impact of volatile milk prices. The programme, which has expanded due to the high levels of interest, has been created in a move to facilitate farmer to farmer support. The project is shaped […]

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arla-r500-logoOver 300 farmers have signed to Arla’s new R500 programme designed to help future proof their farms and increase resilience to the impact of volatile milk prices.

The programme, which has expanded due to the high levels of interest, has been created in a move to facilitate farmer to farmer support. The project is shaped by evidence from across Arla farms which has demonstrated that overall on-farm profitability can be enhanced when farmers are better informed with data and able to adjust to changes in market demand.

Graham Wilkinson, Senior Director of Member Relations, Arla Foods UK comments, “Market volatility is inevitable in our industry. At Arla, our Good Growth strategic focus to drive our brands is mitigating against some of this impact as will our Calcium programme, but we’ve also seen that where our owners take a more holistic approach to their businesses they are better able to adjust. R500 equips farmers with the tools and peer support to enable this.

The Arla R500 Resilience Project will see Arla farmers work together through knowledge sharing and benchmarking using the R500 scorecard which is calculated out of a maximum 500 score. The evaluation provides the farmer with an holistic view of their business highlighting strengths and challenges. Resilience is not just about financial and technical knowledge, the R500 programme goes further to look at aspects such as leadership, people skills, strategic ability and attitude to change. Looking at a business in this way will highlight where efficiency and profitability can be improved. These metrics will help farmers increase their overall resilience to the impact of the changes and volatility of the dairy industry by enabling them to increase efficiency and adapt more easily to risk within the short and long term.

Graham Wilkinson comments, “The industry is still adjusting to the removal of EU milk quotas, and this, on top of volatile global milk prices and Brexit uncertainty means farmers tend to sit in one of two camps; successful at capitalising when times were good or successful at planning for and mitigating against risk. At Arla, we’ve found that farmers who are able to adapt more easily between these two approaches are more sustainable.

“Taking the time to assess strengths and weaknesses, working with other farmers to gain insight, ideas and new perspectives and measuring change and success is key to being fit to compete in an age of increasing European and global volatility.”

The Arla R500 Resilience Project is based on the principles which have seen Barbara Bradley, an Arla farmer owner from North Yorkshire, improve her business dramatically in recent years. Barbara comments, “When I first joined a benchmarking group it was daunting and I was concerned about it being time intensive collecting additional farm data. But its helped us improve in lots of ways, not least that our milk solids have improved by 20%. We’re also more comfortable when things swing in the industry, our resilience to the market and overall business performance has definitely improved. In then discussing these findings with fellow farmers I came away from meetings with ideas for changing things. Not big changes, but small incremental changes which have had a big overall result.”

Jonny Burridge, an Arla farmer owner from Norfolk comments, “You can always learn so much from a group of dairy farmers. Sharing ideas and experiences is powerful for me and my business and I had many a lightbulb moment through the farmer discussions. It has also built my confidence.”

The 316 participants will now be split into regional groups as the meetings begin from next month.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health announces new Avian Team https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11141-boehringer-ingelheim-animal-health-announces-new-avian-team/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11141-boehringer-ingelheim-animal-health-announces-new-avian-team/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 15:25:56 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11141 Over the past fifteen years Merial Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim’s avian and swine departments have produced a number of innovative vaccines for improved animal health. Following Boehringer Ingleheim’s acquisition of Merial Animal Health, this focus on disease prevention continues, and is reflected in the ongoing investment in research into new vaccines for the poultry […]

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Pictured back row l-r: Avian Specialist, John Underwood, Avian and Swine Brand Manager,Callum Blair, Avian Veterinary Adviser, Mike Clark and David Strachan, Head of Avian and Swine UK and Ireland. Front row l-r : Avian Specialist, Jennifer Lock, Samantha Laxen, Avian and Swine Marketing and Business Assistant

Over the past fifteen years Merial Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim’s avian and swine departments have produced a number of innovative vaccines for improved animal health. Following Boehringer Ingleheim’s acquisition of Merial Animal Health, this focus on disease prevention continues, and is reflected in the ongoing investment in research into new vaccines for the poultry sector.

Following the recent appointment of David Strachan as head of the UK and Ireland Avian and Swine Business Unit, the rest of the avian team has now been announced. The team includes technical avian specialists and brings a wealth of practical experience from poultry production systems.

The five-strong team is as follows:

Avian and Swine Brand Manager – Callum Blair

A Glasgow vet graduate, Callum spent over six years in mixed practice before joining the pharmaceutical industry. He brings with him a wealth of experience in many species areas, particularly vaccines and vaccination, following a 17-year industry career. Callum is now responsible for all Swine and Avian brands.

Avian Specialist – Jennifer Lock

A Harper Adams graduate, Jennifer joined Boehringer in January 2018 from the Faccenda Group, one of the largest chicken, turkey and duck producers in the UK, where she worked since 2011; most recently as Agricultural Technical Compliance Manager. Jennifer comes from a background of biosecurity and hygiene training and as an Avian Specialist she will focus on helping producers with vaccinations, blood sampling and audits. She will be a regular visitor to poultry units across the UK as well as working closely with vet practices.

Avian Specialist – John Underwood

John has a wealth of experience in the poultry industry and has been instrumental in successfully driving day-old vaccination. Starting in Unigate, where he became Area Manager for Breeders, he then worked for the Grampian Country Food Group for twelve years, latterly as the General Manager in their Poultry Division. From 2009 until 2014 John worked for Space Ray (brooder heaters) in a worldwide sales and technical role. John joined Merial in 2014 as an Avian Specialist and continues this role within the new Boehringer Ingelheim avian team.

Avian Veterinary Adviser – Mike Clark

Mike Clark joined Boehringer Ingelheim as Avian Veterinary Adviser in October 2017. A Cambridge graduate, he spent an initial few years in mixed practice before moving to Minster Veterinary Practice, where he was a partner and director of the poultry practice. He is a Past President of the British Veterinary Poultry Association and is an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham.

Avian and Swine Marketing and Business Assistant – Samantha Laxen

Sam is responsible for administration and customer care. She recently joined the Avian and Swine team from Alcon Surgical Equipment and Devices, where she had been working for the last six years as a Customer Care Representative in their Surgical Division.

The Avian Team reports into Dr David Strachan. A Cambridge vet graduate with a previous background in immunological research, Dr Strachan also spent ten years with the SAC Veterinary Investigation Service, in Aberdeen focusing on infectious disease diagnosis and control.

Dr Strachan says: “The new Boehringer Avian Team brings together many years of combined industry expertise from hatchery, broiler and layer production systems. Our focus is on developing high quality, effective vaccines for disease prevention alongside the provision of technical assistance, vaccine auditing and support for hatchery managers and producers. We continue to invest in our products while maintaining high standards of customer care and our team looks forward to meeting producers and vets at the Pig and Poultry Fair on 15th and 16th May.

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Live Animal Exports Ban would be ‘shortsighted’ says FUW https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11134-live-animal-exports-ban-would-be-shortsighted-says-fuw/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11134-live-animal-exports-ban-would-be-shortsighted-says-fuw/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:18:09 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11134 A ban on live animal exports would be ‘remarkably shortsighted’ given the uncertainty around a post-Brexit trade deal and agricultural tariffs, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has said. The UK and Welsh Governments yesterday (April 9) launched a call for evidence on a UK-wide ban on the export of live animals for overseas slaughter – […]

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FUW logoA ban on live animal exports would be ‘remarkably shortsighted’ given the uncertainty around a post-Brexit trade deal and agricultural tariffs, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has said.

The UK and Welsh Governments yesterday (April 9) launched a call for evidence on a UK-wide ban on the export of live animals for overseas slaughter – something not possible while the UK remains part of the EU, due to EU free trade rules.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We will naturally be consulting with members over this issue, but our current position is that it would be remarkably short sighted to introduce a ban on live exports at the same time as massive tariffs on meat exports to the EU might be introduced.”

Mr Roberts said such a ban could cut off an essential lifeline for sheep farmers, given tariffs of around 50% of product value could apply on meat once we leave the EU, and that this would collapse the trade in sheepmeat exports, which currently represents around a third of Welsh lamb sales.

“We fully appreciate people’s concerns about live exports, but we must bear in mind that the EU has legal welfare standards which are the highest in the world, and these apply both here and on mainland Europe.”

Mr Roberts’ comments echo those of the Scottish Government.

Responding to a similar proposal earlier this year, Mr Ewing said: “Let me be absolutely clear, this is one UK-wide framework the Scottish government will not be participating in. I will not support anything that creates further challenges or difficulty for our farming sector or puts Scottish agriculture at a disadvantage.”

“The Scottish government will therefore not support the banning of live exports of livestock, but will remain committed to the welfare of all animals during transport adhering to the current rigorous standards which apply – standards and regulations provided by the EU, that are already world class and protect us all through animal, plant and chemical health measures and enabling our produce to be traded around the world.”

Mr Roberts said the concerns surrounding the proposals in Scotland were identical to those in Wales, and that any such ban would be a massive own-goal.

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FUW raises concerns about Welsh fodder shortages https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11130-fuw-raises-concerns-about-welsh-fodder-shortages/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11130-fuw-raises-concerns-about-welsh-fodder-shortages/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 08:33:05 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11130 The Farmers’ Union of Wales says Irish fodder aid schemes highlight and add to concerns in Wales over the impact months of wet weather are having on fodder supplies and prices. Diminishing fodder supplies in the Republic of Ireland led the Irish Government to introduce a fodder transport subsidy scheme in January, with payments of […]

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The Farmers’ Union of Wales says Irish fodder aid schemes highlight and add to concerns in Wales over the impact months of wet weather are having on fodder supplies and prices.

Diminishing fodder supplies in the Republic of Ireland led the Irish Government to introduce a fodder transport subsidy scheme in January, with payments of between €3 and €17 per bale transported, depending on size.

Meanwhile, dairy processors in the republic, which were previously sourcing fodder on the domestic Irish market on behalf of their milk suppliers, have switched to sourcing from mainland UK, with the first Dairygold subsidised shipment totalling 2,500 tonnes having arrived at Rosslare port on Thursday (April 5), and more loads due to follow in the coming days.

The 2013 Irish fodder crisis saw the importation of some 10,000 tonnes of fodder into Ireland, mainly from the UK.

Dai Miles, FUW Milk and Dairy Committee Chairman, said: “Persistent wet weather has left many fields in Wales completely saturated for months, and grass growth remains extremely poor across the country.

“Many of our members are unable to turn cattle out onto the land and this means an increasing reliance on diminishing fodder supplies as cattle remain housed.

“We alerted the Welsh Government to concerns about the impact of fodder shortages many weeks ago, and reports of acute problems in some regions are increasing.

“The FUW would advise members to think ahead and to speak to their FUW county office if they have or anticipate problems in the coming days or weeks.”

Mr Miles said that the removal of fodder from the UK market through the Irish schemes would add to existing pressures on the UK market.

“We fully sympathise with Irish farmers regarding the pressures they are under, but with prices already extremely high in the UK and pressures mounting in parts of Wales, the impact of the Irish schemes for our members is naturally a concern.

“Above all else, farmers in Wales need to see a dramatic improvement in the weather. Otherwise, we will have to urgently consider schemes similar to those operating in the Republic of Ireland.” he added.

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Sheep Shearers on their way to UK https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11126-sheep-shearers-on-their-way-to-uk/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11126-sheep-shearers-on-their-way-to-uk/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:19:38 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11126 The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) is delighted to announce that that shearers will be allowed to enter the UK this year, in a time-limited window, to provide a vital source of highly skilled and experienced staff for shearing contractors removing the wool of millions of sheep this summer. A special Home Office concession […]

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The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) is delighted to announce that that shearers will be allowed to enter the UK this year, in a time-limited window, to provide a vital source of highly skilled and experienced staff for shearing contractors removing the wool of millions of sheep this summer.

A special Home Office concession will continue to allow this very specific group of non-visa nationals to travel to the UK, particularly coming from Australia and New Zealand, between 1 April and 30 June. All those entering will only be allowed to stay for a three month maximum period (i.e. the latest expiry of leave would be 30 September), after which they are required to leave.

Commenting, Jill Hewitt Technical Consultant at the NAAC said:

“We have continued to work with the Home Office and are pleased that UK shearing contractors can continue to access this source of expertise from across the world. We don’t have sufficient UK shears to tackle the mammoth task of shearing the UK flock and it is vital for animal welfare that fleeces are removed to protect sheep from over-heating and flystrike.

Shearers arriving in the UK in coming weeks will need to satisfy an immigration officer they are here, for a temporary period, to be employed as a sheep shearer. The NAAC is supplying its members with the necessary paperwork to hopefully smooth the entry process.”

Specific entry requirements include:

  • The applicant is genuinely seeking entry for the purpose of undertaking employment, or providing services, as a sheep shearer, and must supply an appropriate contract of employment and
  • The applicant will be able to maintain and accommodate himself without recourse to public funds, and
  • The applicant will leave the UK at the end of their stay, and
  • The applicant arrives in the UK for this purpose between 1 April and 30 June

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HRH The Prince of Wales launches Farm Resilience Programme at Louth Livestock Market https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11124-hrh-the-prince-of-wales-launches-farm-resilience-programme-at-louth-livestock-market/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/11124-hrh-the-prince-of-wales-launches-farm-resilience-programme-at-louth-livestock-market/#respond Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:48:05 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11124 Today (19th March) HRH The Prince of Wales attended Louth Livestock Market, to announce that Louth will be a new location for year three of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, and meet with key stakeholders involved in saving the mart. HRH took the opportunity to announce that the Farm Resilience Programme, run by The Prince’s […]

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HRH The Prince of Wales at Louth Livestock Market.
Photo credit: Michael Powell

Today (19th March) HRH The Prince of Wales attended Louth Livestock Market, to announce that Louth will be a new location for year three of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, and meet with key stakeholders involved in saving the mart.

HRH took the opportunity to announce that the Farm Resilience Programme, run by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, would be opening in Louth in September to support up to 20 local family livestock and dairy farms.

Held in 15 locations across the country annually, The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme helps farming families to become more resilient and prepare for the future, through a series of business skills workshops led by leading agricultural consultancies. It will bring local farmers together in a network and help to further secure Louth market’s place as an essential rural hub for Lincolnshire.

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We are so proud to be bringing The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme here to Louth. Livestock farming, and farming families, are increasingly at risk but this programme of support ensures that the local rural economy can prosper, and as a result, vibrant rural communities can thrive. We would emphatically encourage farming families in the area to sign up when the programme starts in the autumn.”

HRH also met auctioneers and members of staff from businesses based at the livestock market, and heard of their efforts to save the market from closure in 2017 following a decade of uncertainty when the district council landlords had earmarked the site for a supermarket and offered the site for sale.

As a result of a community led campaign the district council and the auctioneers who run the market are now actively working together to ensure a sustainable and thriving market site with the rural community at its heart.

Simon Williams a partner with Louth Market Auctioneers said: “2017 was a tumultuous year for the market but we now look forward to a secure future. We thank The Prince of Wales and The Prince’s Countryside Fund from the bottom of our hearts, and we think it’s great that His Royal Highness could be here today to launch the Farm Resilience Programme. That he is prepared to travel to see us and meet those involved is a tremendous boost and one that will live long in the memory.”

Additionally, HRH met with four farmers who were previous beneficiaries of The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s grants programme, attendees of the Technology for Information Literacy Course run by the Grimsby Institute. The project helped farmers to improve their IT skills, furthering the success of their businesses by allowing them to improve their record keeping, communications, and marketing.

For more information on The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, or to express your interest, please visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience

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Farmers ploughing funds into animal welfare in 2018 https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11115-farmers-ploughing-funds-into-animal-welfare-in-2018/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11115-farmers-ploughing-funds-into-animal-welfare-in-2018/#respond Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:17:22 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11115 New research reveals that UK farmers are planning to invest more in animal welfare than any other aspect of their farm business in 2018. This comes as McDonald’s UK unveils a half million-pound capital grant scheme to help dairy farmers deliver animal welfare initiatives. The latest Farm Forward Barometer – part of an ongoing programme […]

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Study marks the launch of new capital grant scheme from McDonald’s offering farmers grants of up to £10,000 to drive innovation in animal welfare on their farms

New research reveals that UK farmers are planning to invest more in animal welfare than any other aspect of their farm business in 2018. This comes as McDonald’s UK unveils a half million-pound capital grant scheme to help dairy farmers deliver animal welfare initiatives.

The latest Farm Forward Barometer – part of an ongoing programme of research commissioned by McDonald’s UK and conducted by the National Farm Research Unit – found 40% of livestock farmers plan to invest in animal welfare over the next 12 months. This makes it the single biggest focus of investment, ahead of spending on infrastructure (37%) and working capital (30%). The research also showed that 88% of farmers are already accredited by a farm assurance scheme and, of those remaining, 20% are working to gain accreditation this year.

Asked why they are increasing their investment in animal welfare, beyond improving animal health, 88% believe that high welfare standards are vital to making UK farming globally competitive and 59% said they had seen an increased demand for higher welfare products over the last five years from food companies, retailers and end consumers.

The study also revealed a strong sense of personal responsibility amongst these farmers. Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents said they think individual farmers are responsible for driving animal welfare standards in the UK farming industry, followed by the government (44%), food companies and retailers (39%) and consumers (34%).

Mike Tizzard, a McDonald’s flagship dairy farmer, said:

“Animal welfare has always been a top priority for us, but now we are investing more than ever in preventative measures to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the herd – from redesigning our cow tracks and collecting yard for optimum comfort, to ongoing monitoring of health and performance data so we can spot problems early. Put simply, happy and healthy cows mean happy staff, high quality standards, and improved productivity”

However, the research also highlighted serious challenges that farmers face when it comes to driving higher welfare standards. 70% cited high production costs, 53% said they had difficulties raising the funds themselves and 54% said they struggled to get outside funding.

To help overcome some of these challenges McDonald’s has just launched its first ever capital grant scheme to help UK dairy farmers wanting to invest in animal welfare. Developed in partnership with Arla Foods, a dairy cooperative, the scheme is making £500,000 available to UK dairy farmers who work with Arla this year. Successful applicants will be awarded a grant of up to £10,000 each to fund innovation in animal welfare on their farm. The grant will be offered as part of Farm Forward, McDonald’s long-term programme of support for the UK farming industry.

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Connor McVeigh, Supply Chain Director, McDonald’s UK

Connor McVeigh, Supply Chain Director, McDonald’s UK, said:

“UK farmers have always been front-footed when it comes to animal welfare but, as this research shows, they continue to invest and innovate. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to serve the responsibly sourced food our customers want and expect, from the organic milk we use across our coffee menu and in our Happy Meals to the free-range eggs in our breakfast items.

We want to work hand in hand with farmers to make sure the industry continues to thrive. That’s why, as part of our Farm Forward programme, we are investing half a million pounds this year to support farmers who are driving innovation in animal welfare on their farms. It’s just one of the ways we are doing our part to support this dynamic and evolving industry.”

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CHeCS farmers rewarded by Defra in new TB rules https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11087-checs-farmers-rewarded-by-defra-in-new-tb-rules/ https://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/livestock/animal-health/11087-checs-farmers-rewarded-by-defra-in-new-tb-rules/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:27:21 +0000 http://www.farmingmonthly.co.uk/?p=11087 The role of CHeCS biosecurity measures in reducing the risk of a TB breakdown has been recognised in new Government rules, which will see participants in CHeCS TB herd accreditation programmes exempt from more frequent testing. The new Government rules, likely to be introduced in 2019 following a consultation last year, stipulate that herds in […]

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Launch of CHeCS TB programme in 2016 with (L to R) Farming Minister George Eustice, Bristol farmer Mike King and his vet Tom Oxtoby from The George Veterinary Group

The role of CHeCS biosecurity measures in reducing the risk of a TB breakdown has been recognised in new Government rules, which will see participants in CHeCS TB herd accreditation programmes exempt from more frequent testing.

The new Government rules, likely to be introduced in 2019 following a consultation last year, stipulate that herds in the High Risk Area of England (HRA) will be tested six-monthly rather than annually.

However, exceptions will be made for lower risk herds, which will remain on annual testing. ‘Lower risk herds’ includes those engaging in a CHeCS TB herd accreditation scheme with at least a year of clear tests since their last breakdown (scoring Level 1), with Defra stating that such keepers ‘should be rewarded for their explicit commitment to managing their TB risks’.

CHeCS, more commonly known for setting health scheme standards to test for and control or eradicate BVD, IBR, Leptospirosis, Johne’s Disease and Neospora, introduced herd accreditation for bovine TB in November 2016.

Two health schemes – Premium Cattle Health Scheme run by SAC and HiHealth Herdcare run by Biobest – currently provide this accreditation. It requires the successful implementation of various biosecurity measures, overseen and signed off by the herd vet, as well agreement from the farmer to access the herd’s official TB test data from Government. Participating herds are awarded an annual score reflecting the number of years since the last breakdown, to a maximum of score of 10.

The move has been welcomed by CHeCS, which says there is an overwhelming case that improved biosecurity can reduce risk of a breakdown.

Specialist cattle vet Keith Cutler, partner in the Endell Veterinary Group and chair of the CHeCS technical committee, says while he and his colleagues see the devastating effect of TB on a regular basis, there are still tangible actions that will reduce risk.

“The fact that Government recognises that risk is lowered after just one year of participating in a CHeCS scheme shows how effective the CHeCS measures can be,” he says.

“If you are running a mainly homebred herd and are in an HRA, then CHeCS accreditation is definitely worth considering. The fees to join the schemes involved are very low, and participation will rely on working closely with the herd vet to improve biosecurity and possibly taking on a little more pre- or post-movement testing.

“But most importantly, CHeCS offers a clear template from which you can work to reduce risk of TB as well as all endemic diseases – and should allow you to remain on annual rather than six-monthly statutory testing.”

The rules governing TB testing in Wales changed last year to require post-movement testing for cattle entering the Low TB Area. However, one of the exemptions to Post-Movement Testing is for cattle originating from a herd which is a member of a CHeCS TB accreditation scheme and classified as level 10. Level 10 denotes 10 years since the last TB breakdown and the exemption to Post-Movement Testing recognises the low risk of cattle from CHeCS Level 10 herds spreading the disease.

Further details on the rule changes in England can be found at here or by visiting www.gov.uk and searching ‘simplify testing high risk area’.

The details of the rule changes in Wales can be found here or going to www.gov.wales and searching ‘TB eradication’.

For those wishing to join a CHeCS scheme, please go to www.checs.co.uk for downloadable guides and contact details for the participating health schemes.

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