farmers given advice on how to avoid accidents - Grassland

Agricultural & Rural Affairs
Information from the
Welsh Assembly Government
issue 81 february 2009
2Regional Boards co-ordinate
TB eradication actions
6Welsh Black beef now in
demand in Australian restaurants
10New strategy to secure Welsh
red meat industry
14AgrisgГґp advice helps couple
with new fresh chickens venture
17Planning is so important when
erecting new farm buildings
Farmers given
advice on how to
avoid accidents
page 4
News in Brief
Wales is the first country in the UK to publish guidance on
the welfare of dogs, cats and equines in a bid to inform
people of the responsibility, time and cost involved in
caring for an animal properly. Cases of animal cruelty and
abandonment continue to rise, which suggests that not
all prospective pet owners have considered carefully the
responsibilities associated with looking after an animal.
The Codes of Practice for the welfare of Dogs, Cats and
Equines (which includes horses and donkeys) have been
produced by the Welsh Assembly Government following
extensive consultation and are welcomed by animal
welfare groups. They are practical guides for people who
own, or are thinking of getting a dog, cat or equine.
Four Crosses Young Farmers’ Club celebrated its 75th
anniversary by holding various money raising events
during the year for good causes. These have enabled
the club to present cheques for ВЈ1,500 each to Hope
House Children’s Hospices, Wales Air Ambulance
and MacMillan Cancer Support. Money was also
donated to the Four Crosses Village Hall and some to
the club to help ensure its future. The Club is grateful
to businesses and individuals for their support.
Food Centre Wales at Horeb has arranged several meat
cutting courses in February and March. These include
lamb cutting on 10 February; pig cutting on 24 and 25
February; pork curing on 26 February and beef cutting
on 16, 17 and 18 March. Further details on 01559
362230 or by emailing [email protected]
Courses will be held this month for farmers and
countryside staff to learn more about hosting visits by
schools, colleges and youth groups. They are being
organised by FACE Cymru in association with the YMCA
Wales Community College. There will be courses at
Bangor on 10 and 24 February; at Dihewyd on 11 and
25 February; at Cwmbran on 12 and 26 February and at
St David’s on 17 and 24 February. The course costs £85
+ VAT, but farmers who register with Farming Connect
may be able to reclaim 50% of the fee, and learners
on a low income can also apply for a bursary. To book
a place or for more information contact Jane Powell on
01970 622248 or e-mail [email protected].
The Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan, Mrs Kathrin (Kate)
Thomas of Gelli Hir, Nelson, Treharris, has been elected
president of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society for 2009.
She is only the fifth woman to become president of the
society in the 105 years since its formation in 1904.
New Boards will
co-ordinate action
to eradicate TB
at regional level
HREE Regional TB Eradication Boards
have been set up to provide a local and
practical perspective to the disease and
deliver a co-ordinated approach to eradicating
it from different regions across Wales.
The vision is to reach the point where
Wales is internationally recognised as being
TB free and sustain this position.
Established as part of the ВЈ27m TB Eradication
Programme, the regional boards have already held
their first meetings. They are organised around the
three Animal Health Divisional offices centred on Cardiff,
Carmarthen and Caernarfon and are chaired by the local
Divisional Veterinary Manager. Members include vets,
farmers, representatives of enforcement bodies (including
local authorities and rural Inspectorate Wales) and Welsh
Assembly Government officials.
The Regional Boards will work on key issues to
integrate services and respond effectively to the disease
situation in their own areas. They will aim to ensure
concerted and collective leadership on the prevention,
detection and removal of TB on a local basis.
In addition to the development of local and
regional activities, they will be able to provide
advice and guidance on the revision or
development of new national TB policies.
Wales Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Christianne
Glossop said, “We are committed to the eradication
of TB in Wales and the battle against M.bovis
has commenced. Our plans are focussing both
on the national and local disease pictures.”
Each Regional Board will identify priorities to tackle
the local situation, taking into account epidemiological
information, any wildlife aspects, the nature of the
industry in the area, evidence of operational performance
by delivery agents, compliance with legislation
and best practice guidance as well as all national
priorities set out by the Assembly Government.
• Collectively consider improvements that can be made
to the removal of Tb reactor cattle from farm.
• Improving biosecurity on farm and at
additional destinations such as markets.
• Dealing with non-compliance issues such as
overdue tests and illegal livestock movements.
• Identifying improvements in enforcement and
compliance delivery across organisations.
• Improved integration of local veterinary services
• Improved awareness and understanding of Tb.
• Improve the process of managing the
individual circumstance of breakdowns.
The boards have an initial commitment
to continue until 31 March 2011, and are
responsibile for ensuring consistency and sharing
of best practice between themselves.
Incidence of new TB breakdowns
between 1986 and 2007
new herd breakdowns 1986
new herd breakdowns 2007
consultation on
tb in camelids
he Welsh Assembly government has
completed consultation on a framework
for Preventing and managing incidents
of bovine tb in camelids in Wales.
• Promote involvement in the Health Check Wales
(where all cattle herds in Wales are being tested for Tb
over a 15 month period starting 1 October 2008).
The consultation ran from the beginning of august to mid
November 2008 and sought the views of stakeholders,
including representatives of the camelid industry, on
the development of an appropriate framework.
Seventeen responses were received from a variety
of organisations and individuals and these will be fully
considered in the development of an action Plan for
taking forward the Tb in Camelids project, which
forms part of the Wales Tb eradication Programme.
roPosAls to link bovine tb compensation
payments to good farming practices
and disease control measures have
been published as part of the Welsh Assembly
government’s comprehensive programme of
activity to eradicate bovine tb in Wales.
bovine Tb in Wales has increased substantially in
the current financial year – and the compensation
paid by the taxpayer has therefore also increased.
from april 2008 to 13 January 2009 expenditure on
Tb compensation in Wales was over ВЈ17,734,564,
compared with ВЈ11,185,340 in the same period
the previous year – an increase of 59 per cent.
a consultation paper considers the responsibilities
of herd owners and the principles of compensation,
and, in particular, how these principles can both
encourage positive on-farm actions and help to
modify behaviour to prevent the reintroduction
of the disease into herds in Wales.
The consultation document is available on or by request from
[email protected].
The closing date for comments is 10 april 2009.
The plans will develop over time and
could include issues such as:
Farmers are
shown how to
avoid accidents
on farms
F the 182 farm deaths in the UK over the
past four years, 15 of them have been in
Wales, Chris Ward, the Health and Safety
Executive’s (HSE) Principal Factory/Agricultural
Inspector told more than 360 farmers who attended
a safety, health and awareness day in Caernarfon.
Held on Coleg Meirion Dwyfor’s Glynllifon site, the
event saw Lantra instructors take the farmers through
six different accident scenarios – on manual handling,
stock handling, safety with ladders and roofs, quad bike
handling, tractor maintenance and Telehandler safety.
Mr Ward said, “The event was arranged to raise awareness
of the main causes of farm deaths so that those who
attended could go back to their holdings and put into practice
some of the ideas. We looked at some of the pitfalls they
face on a daily basis and guided them through best practice.”
He said he was delighted to see such a large
attendance, highlighting the importance which farmers
themselves place on health and safety issues.
The farmers, too, said that the practical demonstrations
were very helpful. After watching one on the dangers of
using a Telehandler, father of two Robert Wyn Jones of
Glaslyn, Nantlle said he found it extremely useful. “The
Falls from telehandlers have led to farm deaths
instructor pointed out the blind spot for drivers behind the
machine and explained how easy it would be to reverse
into someone not knowing that person was there. He
also advised on the importance of regularly checking the
wheel nuts, something I haven’t been doing in the past.”
Emlyn Jones of Llanidan Farm, Brynsiencyn said events such
as this are extremely valuable. “Health and safety on the
farm is extremely important and it is always good to receive
professional advice on how to carry out everyday duties in
the safest and best ways to avoid injuries and accidents. I
thought the manual handling advice was particularly helpful.”
The next event is at Llanbadarn Fawr,
Aberystwyth on March 5.
* Our front page picture shows instructors Stuart Renfree
and Dennis Cartmel demonstrating quad bike safety issues.
Make the promise – and come home safe
CAMPAIGN to prevent deaths on farms
highlights farming as one of the most
dangerous ways to make a living in Britain.
�Make the promise. Come Home Safe’ is a hard-hitting
campaign from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
targeting farmers and their families, including grandparents
and children, with the individual stories behind the
statistics and the devastation caused to bereaved families. In January HSE sent �Promise Packs’ to around
70,000 British farmers, which contains all they
need to make their promise to come home safe.
It includes a �Promise Knot’, a symbolic �knot’ of
farm baling twine,В which canВ be used as a visual
reminder of the pledge to come home safe, as well
as a poster outlining detailed safety information.
Judith Donovan, HSE Board member and agriculture
champion, said, “A new booklet �How lives are lost on
British farms’ can also be requested by farmers which
summarises recent fatal accidents and is designed to
help farmers avoid making the same mistakes. HSE
is mounting this campaign because on average over
45 deaths, year after year, occur on British farms.”
Farmers can send in a form contained within the pack
or call 0800 141 2805 to request a new booklet.
In the case of Tir Gofal agreement holders who
signed up before 31 December 2004, if the RMP
has been included in the Tir Gofal agreement
at the five year review, agreement holders
should complete their RMP within six months
of signing the five year review addendum.
All Tir Gofal and Tir Cynnal agreement holders must
review their plans annually and where necessary
(e.g. if the enterprise or land area changes) are
advised to carry out the review more frequently.
Agreement holders who are required to complete
Manure and Soil Nutrient Management Plans have
twelve months from the agreement start or from
the date of signing the five year review addendum to
prepare these plans (e.g. a deadline of March 2009 for
those farmers who joined the scheme in March 2008).
Agreement holders are not required to submit
their completed RMPs to the Welsh Assembly
Government, however, an up-to-date copy must
be available for inspection during farm inspection
visits. Failure to produce an up-to-date copy during
the inspection may attract financial penalties.
A �Promise Knot’ like this will soon
be found on many farmers
The three main causes of deaths to agriculture
workers in the last ten years were: Transport – 24
per cent; Falls from height, especially roofs – 17%;
Being struck by moving or falling objects – 15%.
ITH increasing emphasis being placed
on the importance of reducing CO2
emissions from farming, members
of FWAG Cymru’s membership scheme FWAG
Cyntaf are endeavouring to keep ahead of the game
by considering their farm carbon footprints.
IR Gofal agreement holders who signed up
after 1 January 2007 and who are required
to complete a Resource Management Plan
(RMP) for the first time are reminded that their
plan needs to be completed within six months of
the start of their agreements. The agreement start
date is clearly shown on the Tir Gofal offer letter.
Farmers advised of
changes to reduce
carbon emissions
About 50 farmers attended a recent seminar
on carbon management policies addressed by
Gareth Edwards-Jones, Professor of Agriculture
and Land Use at the School of the Environment
and Natural Resources, Bangor University.
After explaining the sources of the various greenhouse
gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous
oxide at various points along the food supply chain,
Prof. Edwards-Jones said that farmers are in the front
line with climate change and will soon need to include
carbon management as part of their future planning.
FWAG Cymru Farm Conservation Advisers last year
collected data from 25 FWAG Cyntaf farmers who had
been invited to participate in a process that calculated
carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from their farms,
in partnership with Bangor University. These farmers
have now been advised of changes that they should
make to help them reduce CO2 emissions.
Prof. Edwards-Jones told the farmers that there is
now increasing pressure from retailers for suppliers
to know their carbon footprint. He cited examples
of how farmers can reduce their carbon footprints
– as defined by PAS 2050 – the Publicly Available
Specification (PAS) method for measuring the embodied
greenhouse gas emissions from goods and services.
These include: Managing N inputs; not converting land
from forest to agriculture and identifying and breeding
stock genetically suited to production efficiency.
Among ways in which farmers can reduce their carbon
footprint were: Returning organic matter to soil; not
ploughing permanent grassland; turning to a Green Tariff
for electricity; developing renewable energy sources
on-farm, e.g. micro-hydro; actively supporting renewable
energy projects and not wasting food or energy.
For further details contact FWAG on 01341 421456.
RMP reminders
Welsh Black beef in big demand
at leading Australian restaurants
ESSICA Evans, the Welsh Black Cattle Society’s
Young Member Ambassador has recently
returned from a three week tour of Australia
with the Society. The 25 year old farmer’s daughter
from Harlech established her own herd of Welsh
Black Cattle in 2001 at the age of 18. Last year
she won the Hybu Cig Cymru Scholarship to
travel to Australia to see how Wales' native breed
has adapted in a different climate. In this special
article for Gwlad she reports on her visit:
in 2006. Kangaroos compete with the cattle for feed
and water, and therefore electric fences are a must.
The tour started with the Welsh Black Cattle Societies’
Second World Conference in Melbourne. It was an
amazing experience to meet other breeders from around
the world who shared such passion and enthusiasm
for the breed, and also provided the opportunity to
discuss the future development of bloodlines globally.
I was impressed by the great emphasis that the Australian
Welsh Black Cattle Society placed on securing the future
of the breed by engaging the interests of young people
and students through a Youth Development Programme.
We travelled 2,526 km in Victoria and New South
Wales, visiting 11 farms that kept Welsh Black Cattle.
The climatic conditions varied enormously between
farms, with some experiencing a 12 year drought, which
had resulted in a reduction in cattle numbers. Other
problems encountered were kangaroos, wild dogs
and bush fires, which had destroyed 1 million hectares
Strategic food and
drink group named
URAL Affairs Minister Elin Jones has
announced the members of a new group
that has been set up to examine how the
Welsh food and drink industry should be supported
in meeting current and future challenges.
The Minister said that the Strategic Food and Drink
Advisory Group, which has replaced the Agri-Food
Partnership Advisory Group, will strengthen the link
between government policy and strategy and reflect
the working relationship between the Welsh Assembly
Government and the Welsh food and drink industry.
The members are Dr Nic Lampkin, Jeremy Percy,
Roger Hughes, Dr Mark Simkin, Terrig Morgan, Alison
Lea-Wilson, Professor Peter Midmore, David Lloyd,
Kate Palmer, Kate Morgan, Richard Parry Hughes, Joyce
Hughes, Dr Shyam Patiar, Philip Stocker, Jennifer Davis,
Sheep numbers in one area visited had been reduced
from 40,000 to 1,000 due to attacks from wild dogs
living in the bush. This, however, had resulted in an
increase in cattle numbers in the high plains – an ideal
place for Welsh Black Cattle due to their ability to
tolerate a range of temperatures from 40ВєC in the
summer and -20ВєC in the winter, and their capacity to
walk the long distances due to their good hoof quality.
Welsh Black Cattle Breeders in Australia were taking
advantage of Gene Star testing. DNA technology
scores the cattle for marbling, tenderness and
feed efficiency. These technologies form part of
their selection process in their endeavours to
improve the quality of their Welsh Blacks.
Some Welsh Black Cattle were sold as stores at
nine months to be fattened by feed lot systems,
Huw Rees, Gwyn Angell Jones and Rees Roberts,
who will represent the Welsh red meat sector.
The group will build on the work of the AgriFood Partnership Advisory Group, which since
1999 has provided guidance and support on the
development and implementation of support
services for the food and drink industry in Wales.
It will oversee the development and implementation
of the Food and Drink from Wales strategy and
provide advice to the Welsh Assembly Government
on its support for the food and drink industry.
The work of the partnership is supported by
sector strategy groups covering Dairy, Fish and
Aquaculture, and Horticulture. There is also an
Organic and a Trade Development Group.
At regional level, there are four partnerships which
bring together a range of public and private sector
bodies involved in local delivery to facilitate joined up
working and the development and implementation
of projects that meet specific local/regional needs.
while many breeders fattened their own stock
and supplied their meat direct to restaurants, and
also consumers through farmers markets.
Welsh Black Cattle in Australia have gone from
strength to strength since first being imported from
New Zealand in 1984. The cattle seen during our
trip were of the highest quality and a true reflection of
those originally exported from Wales. They have gone
from an unrecognised breed in Australia to being the
feature breed at the Royal Melbourne Show in 2008,
and are also now competing against breeds such as
the Wagu for the meat in top Australian restaurants.
The superior breed characteristics have led to the Welsh
Black not only being used as a pure breed sire but often
now used in commercial herds as the terminal sire.
OCW Director
IC Lampkin, Director of Organic
Centre Wales since its formation
in 2000 has left to take up a new
position as Executive Director of the Organic
Research Centre Elm Farm, near Newbury.
FARMER who has demonstrated a high
standard of commercial farming alongside
sensitive environmental management
has scooped another major award.
Three years ago Glasnant Morgan of Pwllrhwyaid,
Talybont-on-Usk won the British Grassland Society’s
UK grassland management competition, showing
excellence in the management of grass and forage crops.
He has now won the 2008 FWAG Cymru - National
Grid Silver Lapwing Farm Conservation competition,
which promotes environmental best practice
in the commercial farming sector. He receives
ВЈ800 and an engraved slate farmgate plaque.
Glenda Thomas, Director FWAG Cymru said, “The
judges were impressed by the vibrant farm business
based on quality lamb production for Waitrose and
high-class weaned suckler calves. Unsprayed spring
cereals and root crops supplement the conserved grass
forage as well as providing ideal habitats for wildlife.”
The 420-acre holding is all in Tir Gofal and Glasnant, who
runs Pwllyrhwyaid with support from his wife Linda and
son Huw, said he was determined to keep up the good
work of his father Sam and manage the land sensitively.
“I believe that the good land should be managed
for agricultural production, with the marginal
land having more of a wildlife focus.”
Elm Farm is one of the partner organisations involved
in running OCW and there will be continued
collaboration between the two organisations to support
the development of organic farming in Wales, the
UK and internationally. His successor at Aberystwyth
is currently being recruited by the University.
The policy of managing the land sensitively is on-going,
and the results include well positioned coppices and
rough grazing strips, good hedgerow management,
an impressive sequence of ponds and wetland
areas, orchard planting and the preservation of
pasture with a plant diversity of over 100 species.
Nic will also remain closely engaged with organic policy
work in Wales, as a member of the new WAG Strategic
Food and Drink Advisory Group, Chair of the Organic
Strategy Group and Board Member of Hybu Cig Cymru.
The 2007 Silver Lapwing Award winner Peter
Davies, who was one of the judges said, “Glasnant
shares his enthusiasm and knowledge with the many
school and farmer groups who come to his door.”
Jessica Evans pictured with some Welsh Black
Cattle at Budweed Creek Stud, Dargo, in
the high plains in the state of Victoria
Farmer shows
can work with
Staff gear up
to ease red
tape burden
for farmers
ACKLING red tape and improving
communications with the farming industry
was the focus of training recently delivered,
with the help of NFU Cymru, FUW and the Farm
Crisis Network to over 500 frontline staff from the
Assembly Government’s Rural Affairs Department.
The training was designed to deliver a key
objective of the Red Tape Review action plan
focusing on the role of frontline staff in addressing
bureaucracy, improving communications with
farmers and helping to reduce rural stress.
Many of the staff involved come from a farming
background and the nine events held throughout
Wales proved an opportunity to use their knowledge
and experience to consider the impact red tape
has on farming families and to explore ways in
which the red tape issue might be addressed.
The training was provided as a direct response to
feedback received from stakeholders that the Department
willow does have
its problems
by Huw Powell, IBERS
NYONE who harvested their crops in
2008 had to cope with some very wet
conditions following prolonged rainfall,
and willow crops were no exception.
should do more to communicate clearly the reasons
why some bureaucracy is necessary and/or desirable.
Some, of course, is linked to the Assembly Government’s
policy objectives, for example in respect of protecting
human and animal health and the environment.
Much of what exists, however, is necessary to meet
the audit requirements of the European Commission in
respect of the ВЈ300 million or so paid to Welsh farmers
each year through the Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
and other payments such as Tir Mynydd and Tir Gofal.
During the training events consideration was given to
how the Department’s existing communication methods
including Gwlad magazine and its internet site might be
improved and how the department might engage with
farmers who currently do not access the internet, do not
read Gwlad and may not attend the regular meetings
organised by the Farm Liaison Service and others.
A number of ideas for improvement were suggested
by attendees during the events and these are currently
being considered and implemented where appropriate.
Readers will soon see changes to this magazine
which we hope will improve the content and design.
Changes will also be made to the Department for
Rural Affairs internet pages, which we expect will make
them easier to navigate so that customers can reach
the information they require more quickly. Amongst
other activities, work is also underway to improve the
stock letters that the Department issues to farmers.
way with modified maize harvester impractical,
so local forestry machinery was used at Cilgoed.
The stems were then baled using a forestry brash
baler and extracted road-side with a forwarder.
However, the costs and time of the operations made
it an impractical option for economic harvesting
of Short Rotation Coppice. In addition, there is
significant potential for soil damage with the repeated
trafficking of harvester, baler and forwarder.
The upside was that unlike some cereal crops the
willow doesn’t spoil, so we could afford to wait until
the soils started drying out at some sites whilst at
others harvesting is scheduled for early February.
Our experience has shown that there is a need to
develop machinery that is better suited to marginal
areas and small fields than the maize harvester and
more economic than forestry machinery. Whilst it is
not difficult to produce a tracked machine that can
cope with harvesting sloping sites, there will be issues
with creating a machine with enough throughput
capacity and harvesting speed to make it economic.
At two of the project sites in North Wales a combination
of slopes and wet soils made harvesting in the usual
The Cernyfed site was cut by hand with chainsaws
and presented for the baler. A team of two men
S a result of the Common Agricultural
Policy (CAP) Health Check review
undertaken by the European Commission,
changes have been introduced to the Statutory
Management Requirements (SMR) included in Cross
Compliance. The main changes are as follows:
Peredur Hughes, former president of NFU Cymru
and external advisor to the red tape review said:
“I believe that front line staff, whether they be field
officers or desk bound in the regional offices, all have a
part to play in reducing bureaucracy and stress; it will
in the end benefit not only farmers but staff as well.
“I attended one of the training sessions and found
it both interesting and informative. The staff I met
were both supportive and enthusiastic to make
changes. Hopefully as more of the action plan is
implemented in the coming months farmers will start
to see a real difference in the level of red tape.”
SMR: Conservation of Wild Birds and SMR:
Conservation of Fauna and Flora
Under SMR: Conservation of Wild Birds and SMR:
Conservation of Fauna and Flora requirements have
been removed where they are not considered to be
relevant to farming activities, farmland or farmers.
SMR: Cattle Identification and Registration
One of the Commission regulations covering
cattle identification has been removed from cross
compliance but this does not affect what you have
to do to comply with cattle identification.
In addition, further changes to the SMRs are
occurring which are mainly due to amendments
to European Directives. These changes are
likely to affect the following requirements:
were able to cut 0.2ha/day. The harvesting costs
were less than by machine, and there was no
machinery damage to the soils. However with the
upland sites producing relatively low yields, the
costs of using such a harvesting system can only be
justified with longer rotation and a greater yield/ha.
SMR: Groundwater
The practical issues associated with harvesting
by hand would be important to investigate given
the interest from the rapidly developing domestic
chip boilers. Many landowners are keen to grow
small areas of willow for their own use, in areas
too small to justify mechanised harvesting.
The Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008
have been introduced following a full consultation
to implement the European Communities Nitrates
Directive and to reduce nitrogen losses from
agriculture into water. This has resulted in number
of changes to the cross compliance requirements.
* The Willow for Wales project is funded by the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through
the Welsh Assembly Government and by industry
involving a consortium of organisations including IBERS,
Forest Research, Cardiff University, EGNI, RWE
nPower, Renewable Fuels ltd and the West Wales
and Cadwyn Cymru- Link Wales Machinery Rings.
SMR: Prevention and Control of transmissible
spongiform encephalopathies
The groundwater regulations are due to be updated
during 2009 which may change the requirements
for groundwater under cross compliance.
SMR: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
Requirements regarding the placing on the
market and export of live animals, their semen,
embryos and ova have been introduced.
Further information will follow in future Gwlad
articles and on the Welsh Assembly website.
Frontline staff discuss ways to reduce red tape
and improve communication with farmers
Changes to Cross
for 2009
Long-term strategy to secure multimillion pound Welsh red meat sector
NEW strategic action plan has been
developed to encourage a thriving red meat
industry in Wales with a long-term future.
Produced by Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) in close
consultation with the Welsh Assembly Government
and industry stakeholders, the draft plan is now
out for consultation and comments are invited
before the closing date of February 20.
It points out that the red meat industry is worth ВЈ361
million a year to the Welsh economy and has huge
potential for further growth both at home and abroad.
Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef are strong brands trusted
by consumers, but everyone involved in the production
chain must meet several challenges to ensure that
they continue to flourish well into the future.
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said, “The vision
outlined in this important document is to have a
profitable, efficient, sustainable and innovative Welsh
red meat industry. That is what I want to see.
“Key to the success of the industry is knowing the market,
knowing the customer and meeting their needs. Despite
the many challenges, Wales is in a good position as
customers become more aware of environmental issues
and where their food comes from,” said the Minister.
HCC Chair Rees Roberts said, “We want an industry that
can respond quickly and competitively to ever changing
markets, benefiting the people of Wales. I see this as a
positive document, setting out our vision of a bright future
for all sections of the industry. But following a sustained
period of low prices and low profitability, we have to
recognise that there are a number of challenges facing us.
“At the core, profitability remains the biggest challenge,
and there is a need to improve overall confidence
in the industry and encourage future investment.”
The document states that many Welsh producers are
struggling to come to terms with the full implications
for their business of the changes in European subsidies,
increasing regulations, market and environmental issues.
At the same time stock levels are falling. Latest figures
show that the number of breeding ewes in Wales has
fallen from just over 4.5 million in 2007 to just under
4.2 million this year - a reduction of seven per cent
compared with a cut of five per cent in the Scottish
flock and an increase of one per cent in England.
ВЈ4.5m funding boost will have major
benefits for agricultural sector
HE Welsh red meat industry has been
given a ВЈ4.5 million boost with the
aim of increasing the financial returns
for beef and sheep farmers in Wales.
The money, drawn by Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) for
three new projects under the Rural Development
Plan for Wales 2007 – 2013, which is funded by the
Welsh Assembly Government and the European
Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, will also be
used to exploit the latest technology to advance best
practice, and source a wider range of economic and
market intelligence to improve strategic planning.
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said, “This investment
will produce major benefits for the agricultural sector
and through them, the wider rural community.”
The approved HCC schemes are:
Technology Development and Transfer to Practice,
Communications and Training - ВЈ2,727,500
This project aims to assess all new innovations properly
and impartially and to present the information to the
industry in a clear, precise and unambiguous fashion.
This will mean that the industry is in the best position
to meet market requirements both efficiently and cost
effectively. It will include training for farmers, and essential
information from abattoirs will be fed back to producers
to enable them to implement appropriate strategies.
Genetic Improvement - ВЈ782,000
This aims to improve the financial returns to
Welsh beef and sheep farmers through a better
alignment of the characteristics of breeding stock
with market requirements. This will be achieved
though performance recording and the incorporation
of desirable traits into flocks and herds.
The strategic action plan sets out ways that farmers
can improve their business performance by
responding to changing market conditions driven
by consumer demands, as well as environmental
requirements including climate change.
But the document also makes it clear that the family
farm tradition of Wales is a strong image that is
respected by consumers, and that it assists in selling
the Welsh brand both at home and abroad.
“The image of the Welsh brand encapsulates premium
fresh red meat products backed up by provenance and
taste,” said Mr Roberts. “Wales is well placed to respond
to consumer demands for meat produced from well
cared for livestock and in environmentally sensitive ways.”
Interested parties will be able to access
the full consultation document at www.
Economic/Market Intelligence and
benchmarking - ВЈ1,050,000
HCC will source a wide range of economic and
market intelligence relevant to the Welsh red meat
industry, for use as a basis for informed decisionmaking in determining priorities and the direction of
individual enterprises. It will also develop and extend
the use of benchmarking in Wales. Benchmarking
is an assessment that allows enterprises throughout
the red meat chain to examine their business and
to establish where improvements can be made. It
compares individual operational elements, such as
costs and performance data, against businesses of a
similar size. It also encourages farmers and others
involved in the red meat industry to share knowledge
and experiences. This HCC Project, funded under
the Rural Development Plan for Wales, will ensure
that benchmarking is available to all individuals and
groups in the red meat chain, including farmers and
processors. This will enable the modelling of the effect
of a wide range of key features of meat production.
ORE and more people in Wales are
now eating fresh fruit and vegetables
following the success of a Welsh
Assembly Government funded initiative to
develop community food co-operatives.
The Rural Regeneration Unit (RRU) launched a
two-year pilot food co-op scheme in North and
South East Wales in 2004 as part of its activities to
increase the intake of fruit and vegetables in Wales.
The scheme has proved so successful that the
RRU has helped to set up and support over
180 community food co-ops across Wales.
Mark Jones, Welsh Produce Manager for the Community
Food Co-operative Project in Wales said that under the
food co-op system customers access fresh fruit, salad
and vegetables on a weekly basis at wholesale prices.
The vegetable bag will generally have potatoes,
carrots and three or four other items; the fruit
bag will generally have 15-20 pieces of fruit,
while the salad bag will have lettuce, tomatoes
and cucumber and two or three other items.
Mr Jones said that Assembly Government funding
from its Rural Affairs and Health Improvement division
has continued to support the development of food
co-ops across Wales. The co-ops, which are non-profit
making, now provide fruit and vegetables to some
6,000 families, engaging around 800 volunteers, and
has a turnover of approximately ВЈ1 million a year. The
fruit and vegetables are good quality, affordable and
from locally produced sources wherever possible.
“We are especially looking for fruit and vegetable
growers or wholesalers in Ceredigion for new
co-ops in the Aberystwyth area,” added Mr Jones.
Mr Jones can be contacted on 01492 660263.
If you think your community would benefit from
having its own food co-operative, or if you
would just like further information visit www.
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones pictured
at the new Hybu Cig Cymru offices
with HCC Chief Executive Gwyn Howells
and Chairman Rees Roberts following
her announcement of the Red Meat Action Plan
Food co-ops
encourage more
to eat fresh fruit
and veg
Prestige award
for guardians of
animals, landscape
and habitats
SUSTAINABLE and traceable product
lies at the heart of the Oaklands Organics
ethos, with proprietors John and Rebecca
O’Dwyer continually striving to produce the
best quality meat with the least possible damage
to the environment or their animals.
That some 95 per cent of their meat and poultry is sold
to individuals and restaurants within 10 miles of their farm
at Bonvilston, near Cardiff is testimony to their success.
Both from farming families and with considerable
experience in the industry, John and Rebecca
protect rare native breeds by keeping Welsh
Black cattle, local breed Balwen sheep and
Tamworth pigs – an endangered species.
“By using our traditional breeds in commercial systems,
we ensure their continuity for future generations,”
said Rebecca, following Oaklands Organic’s success
in winning the True Taste Organic Product Award.
Photo: Kiran Ridley
“We sell everything we produce within a 50-mile
radius, providing fully traceable, locally produced
John and Rebecca O’Dwyer
food. And our regular farm walks give people
the chance to visit the farm and see the animals,
farming systems and protected habitats.”
The O’Dwyers’ achieved full organic status in September
2008. Their quality beef, lamb pork and chicken is now
supplied to some of the region’s top restaurants. Two of
their most succulent products, pedigree Welsh Black sirloin
steak, and organic, free range woodland Tamworth leg
of pork, were entered for the 2008 True Taste Awards.
In the processes used at Oaklands every part
of every animal is used and nothing goes to
waste. Their organic farming system means
all nutrients are put back into the land.
The couple’s commitment to sustainability is
reflected in the fact that Oaklands Farm is off-grid,
relying on solar and wind power, backed up by a
generator and batteries. Its vehicles run on homeproduced bio diesel. And the O’Dwyers are always
looking for ways to reduce product packaging, using
new materials as they appear on the market.
“We consider ourselves guardians of the animals,
landscape and habitats at Oaklands, and work to
protect them for future generations,” Rebecca added.
John O’Dwyer said, “We are a small, family business
trying to produce the best local meats possible, without
compromising our animals or the environment.
These awards are a great boost to us and the team
at Oaklands Organics, giving us a standard to work to
and acknowledging us for achieving that standard.”
by Simon Moakes, IBERS, Aberystwyth University
enchmarking data collected for 38 Welsh
Organic finished beef production showed a net margin
organic farms by the Welsh farm business
of 4p/kg dw compared with -38p/kg for conventional
survey based at ibers, Aberystwyth university,
beef. Variable costs were almost identical, higher organic
show that Welsh organic farms were generally
overheads per kg (mainly due to lower yield per ha)
producing better returns than conventional farms in
being more than offset by the greater output value. In
2007/8, before the credit crunch started to impact on
contrast, the net margin for organic breeding beef at
the organic market. output was higher
-118p/kg lw was lower than
or similar in all cases, with lower or
conventional beef at -69p/kg,
Milk yields were similar,
similar variable costs. Where organic
mainly due to lower output per
yields per ha were lower, overhead
hectare. Organic variable costs
a considerably higher price,
costs per kg were higher, as were
were lower than conventional,
the value of own resources used and
as was output, but organic
and whilst organic feed costs
support payments. Despite this, overall
fixed costs were higher per
net returns per litre or kg were higher,
kilogram. When support
although this does not necessarily
payments were included in the
variable costs were similar.
translate to better per ha performance.
net margin however there was
little difference between the two systems, with
The net margin for organic milk at 9.4 pence per litre
organic at 47p/kg and conventional at 57p/kg.
(ppl) was significantly higher than that for conventional
at 5.6ppl with similar differences on a per ha basis.
Organic production costs were higher at 18.9ppl,
compared with 16.2 ppl for conventional, but this
was more than offset by 30% higher organic outputs.
Milk yields were similar, though organic milk fetched a
considerably higher price, and whilst organic feed costs
were slightly higher, other variable costs were similar.
fArming connect
organic benchmark figures
show good results
both organic and conventional lamb net margins were
negative, at -44p/kg dw and -71p/kg dw respectively.
Organic output was higher as a result of higher prices,
while variable costs were lower and overheads
higher. The organic net margin including support
payments was 77p/kg or ВЈ200/ha, while conventional
remained negative at -43p/kg or ВЈ-110/ha.
milk (litres)
yield per forage ha
Variable costs
Gross margin
Overhead costs
Net margin
unpaid own resources
Support payments
Net return 2007/8
Net return 2006/7
Source: Farm Business Survey, Aberystwyth University
breeding beef
(kg liveweight)
trading beef (kg
lamb (kg
output, costs of production and margins in pence per litre or kg live/dead weight 2007/8
fArming connect
farm fresh
chickens venture
indebted to
AgrisgГґp advice
Arming couple martyn and Danielle lloyd are
not counting their chickens, but they are quietly
hopeful that their new venture will be a success.
If it is, then they admit that they’ll owe a debt of
gratitude to farming Connect’s agrisgôp group in North
Pembrokeshire, whose members have provided both the
encouragement and information to help them get their
farm fresh free-range chickens enterprise off the ground.
Martyn, 32, and Danielle, 28, joined agrisgГґp to
explore ways of improving the income on their 270acre family farm, Cilshafe Isaf, near fishguard, where
they keep 500 ewes and a herd of suckler cows.
“We had noticed that no-one in our area was producing
free range chickens and when we discussed our idea
for doing so at a group meeting everyone was so
supportive. They signposted us to various contacts
whose help has proved invaluable,” said Martyn.
how to get the
most out of your
fruit and veg
by Robert Mackey
CALU horticultural advisor
f you farm 1,000 hectares you
will have an entire department
devoted to selling your produce. if you
grow on a very small scale you will probably
sell them to neighbours and friends or on
an ad hoc basis to a local pub or shop.
but if you fit in between these, how do
you sell your fruit and vegetables?
It is possible to sell all your produce through a merchant
or dealer. This minimises the time you need to devote
to marketing, leaving you free to concentrate on
Martyn and Danielle Lloyd serve another satisfied
customer at Fishguard Farmers Market
The business, which has been up and running for over
three months, is currently operated from portable
buildings on the farm, which have been extensively
adapted to comply with environmental health
requirements. The couple are, however, currently
seeking planning approval to erect some purpose built
sheds that will enable them to expand their venture.
Martyn, who has trained to obtain a slaughterman’s
licence and together with Danielle attended a food
hygiene course, said that before embarking on their
venture they were taken by agrisgГґp group leader
growing and harvesting the crops. you will need to
work with the marketing organisation to make sure
that there is an opening for your produce and that they
are able and willing to sell it for you. arrangements
should be in place before you plant the crop.
you can focus on growing a small number of crops
and making best use of your skills, equipment and
time. The disadvantage is that you will not get the
best prices; you are not in control and will have to
accept the �market price’ less whatever percentage
the marketing organisation takes from sale.
The alternative is direct marketing with farm shops, box
schemes, farmers markets or selling direct to pubs and
shops, which are the favourites amongst small growers.
The grower is in direct contact with the end-user.
feedback is direct, allowing the grower to identify
opportunities for new crops and outlets. Payment
is usually immediate with minimal requirement for
invoicing or complex paperwork. but there is an issue
of �critical mass’ – you must be big enough to provide
an adequate level and range of produce to maintain the
Now is the time
to check that
paper work
Christmas was a particularly busy time for Martyn
and Danielle, preparing and selling hundreds of
farm fresh chickens at Farmers’ Markets at Fishguard
and St Davids, directly from their farm and even
to a butcher’s shop in Carmarthenshire.
Two other people revelling in the new venture
are the couple’s young sons, Aidan, 4 and Ryan,
2. “They love helping us feed the chickens and
giving them fresh bedding,” added Danielle.
The couple can be contacted on 01348 874199 or
07773421352 or email [email protected].
know only too well that record keeping is not
every farmer’s cup of tea, but it is in everyone’s
interest that farm records are kept up to date.
With inspections on going, now is the time for all
farmers to check that their paperwork is fully in order.
If you need any guidance and assistance then please
do not hesitate to contact a member of the Farm
Liaison Service (FLS) at your local Divisional Office.
We are there to do everything we can to help you.
Here are a few points for you to consider:
Cattle Keepers
I would encourage all Cattle Keepers to check the
details held on the BCMS system for their holding.
Obtain a printout of all Cattle on your holding.
If you need assistance contact a FLS officer.
For it to work well there must be tight control of
�who grows what and when’ to meet customer
needs. It may require some buying in to ensure
that there is always a range of produce available.
I am particularly keen to encourage farmers who have
not already done so to register with CTS Online.
They can do this by logging on to
uk. Alternatively, they can email ctsonline@bcms. or phone the BCMS Helpline English
0845 050 1234 or Welsh 0845 050 3456. Registering
will help farmers meet statutory deadlines, such as
notifying cattle movements within three days and
certainly cut down on some of the paperwork!
Direct selling increases income to the farm, but can
be time-consuming. Quality and customer care are
essential ingredients. Localness, traceability, personal
contact and quality will keep the customers happy.
Sheep Farmers
If you have missed the deadline of 1st February for
the return of your Sheep Annual Inventory form you
are strongly advised to return it without further delay.
We must always be aware, however, that
they will remember the one week you get it
wrong, not the fifty-one you get it right.
Food & Feed Law
It is important that you keep records of all
purchases of concentrates, minerals, etc.
CALU will be hosting an event at the Welsh
College of Horticulture on 18 March looking at
small scale production and marketing of fruit and
vegetables. For further information, please contact
CALU – 01248 680450; [email protected].
Single Payment Entitlements
This is the time of year when entitlements are being
traded. To be effective for the SP2009 Transfer/
Lease forms need to be submitted by the 2 April
2009. Forms are available from Divisional Office.
outlet throughout the year. Smaller growers can tackle
this issue by co-operative working with other growers.
Finally, remember if you need any assistance contact
the FLS officers at your local Divisional office.
“The response we have received from the public has
been overwhelming,” said Danielle. “Many people
who bought a chicken from us at our first markets
have been back for another because they said they
enjoyed the taste of a farm fresh bird so much. This
sort of feedback is enormously encouraging.”
by Rita Jones, Head of the Farm Liaison Service in Wales
Olwen Thomas to see an organic poultry farm near
Milford Haven where they received some invaluable
advice. They also spent time on �work experience’
with Martin and Julie Davies who breed turkeys at
Cuckoo Mill Farm near Haverfordwest. “They went
out of their way to teach us practically all there is
to know about looking after poultry. They even
showed Danielle the art of dressing the birds.”
Over 1000 sign up
to access Farming
Connect support
HE new phase of the Farming Connect
service has led to over 1,000 farmers
signing up to register, with 85% of
these seeking assistance to identify their future
business needs and 80% interested in training.
Head of the Assembly Government’s Farming Connect
Team, Gary Douch commented, “A high percentage of
those farmers who are now registered with Farming
Connect have indicated that they are keen to receive
help and advice on producing a Whole Farm Plan
(WFP) with the benefit of five days of subsidised one
to one support from an approved list of mentors.
Our team of regionally based WFP co-ordinators are
now contacting the farmers concerned to help them
decide which mentor they should work with and
get the business plan underway.” The Whole Farm
Plan can range from advice on a single topic, such as
succession planning or tenancy arrangements, to a
comprehensive business plan for a diversification project.
Farming Connect has also developed a skills development
programme which enables eligible farm and forestry
businesses to claim 50% funding towards training.
To avail themselves of this and other parts of the
Farming Connect service, including the wealth of
expertise, support, training and advice that is now on
offer – much of it either fully funded or subsidised
– farmers MUST register with the Service Centre
on 08456 000 813. All those who were previously
registered with Farming Connect MUST also register
with the new service. The partly funded programme
will attract 50% funding for eligible farm and forestry
businesses, increasing to 80% for young entrants.
The fully funded programme includes:
• Knowledge transfer/development programmes for the
dairy, red meat, organic and land management sectors
• Diversification and awareness raising events/seminars
• Planning surgeries
• Agrisgôp - an active learning programme to
develop new business opportunities
• Agri-environment training
• Telephone and one to one support at Divisional
Offices, delivered by the Welsh Assembly
Government’s Farm Liaison Service
In total there have been 3,601 attendances at
Farming Connect events organised throughout
Wales during the period July to December 2008.
An important part of Farming Connect is the Farm
Advisory Service, which will help farm businesses
meet cross-compliance and environmental regulations.
AgrisgГґp, the action learning programme which brings
farming families together to discuss business ideas, aims to
build farmers’ confidence and help them to identify and
meet future challenges in a sustainable and innovative way.
Any farmer considering diversifying is encouraged to
attend one of the Diversification Seminars currently being
held by Menter a Busnes on behalf of Farming Connect.
See details of all the above on the diary page in
Gwlad or by visiting
Is your cattle handling facility safe and cos
OOR cattle handling facilities can affect animal
welfare leading to stress, weight loss and
bruising of meat, which is estimated to cost
the UK beef industry around ВЈ14 million a year.
With TB testing, weaning and weighing taking place
at this time of year, the Red Meat Development
Centre has the following advice to help improve
health, safety, animal welfare and meat quality:
• Take time to watch cattle being handled in your
system and note any problems. For example, do you
have difficulty getting animals through gates, stopping
half way up races or refusing to go into the crush?
• Work with the animals’ natural behaviour.
• Sheet the sides of the race to prevent distractions.
• Remove corners by fitting gates/sheeting
across them to help improve the flow.
• Improve lighting in dark sheds. Contrast
can cause animals to stop.
• Repair worn and damaged concrete floors to reduce
their instinct to stop at holes or changes in the surface.
• Make an insert to reduce the width
of the race for smaller cattle
recting any
new building on
a farm requires
a great deal of planning
to ensure that factors
such as cow flow, slurry storage and building
location are all taken into consideration.
This is particularly important when setting up
a new dairy unit and moving an entire dairy
herd to what was a beef and sheep farm.
This was the situation facing the Owen family of
Cillech farm, Newcastle emlyn, who have recently
taken over the neighbouring blaenant farm with the
intention of moving their 140 cow dairy herd there.
Mr Owen and his family wanted to ensure that
they would not regret any decisions on the
design and layout of the farm in the future.
following discussions with the Dairy Development
Centre (DDC) and the environment agency Wales
(eaW) it was decided to hold a joint workshop on the
farm to utilise the experience of Keith Owen of aDaS
and local farmers to help with the planning and design.
John Griffiths, DDC Manager said, “Many farmers
erect buildings without fully considering possible future
Farmers discussing the pros and cons of
where a new dairy unit should be sited
expansion plans; this event was about getting everyone to
consider all the possibilities before building commenced.”
fArming connect
farmers help with
planning layout of
a new dairy unit
blaenant farm has a wide range of buildings, ranging from
traditional stone ones to more modern steel structures,
and no slurry store or silage clamp. attending farmers
were split up into groups, given an existing plan of the
buildings and a tour of the farm. The groups were then
asked to design their own preferred layout focussing
solely on the overall layout of the farm. They were also
asked to consider cow flow, access, future expansion,
dirty yard areas, slurry store design and capacity.
Philip Morgan of the eaW said, “Holding the event
at blaennant farm has helped farmers realise the
importance of good planning when developing a farm.
reducing the size of dirty yard areas and separating
clean roof water from dirty yard water can help
reduce the amount of slurry storage needed.
“accurately calculating the slurry storage capacity
required will also ensure that the nutrients of
the slurry can be better utilised in the spring
and help to reduce fertiliser costs.”
for more information on building planning, slurry
/ silage storage guidance contact the DDC on
01554 748570 or the ea on 08708 506 506.
st effective?
red Meat Development Centre Demonstration farmers
Tom and Kate Coney of Narberth have invested in a
basic handling system costing around ВЈ1,800. according
to Kate this has made a world of difference to routine
health testing, treatments and made the process of
regular weighing of growing stock much easier and safer.
for a copy of the latest factsheet on cattle handling
please contact Hybu Cig Cymru on 01970 625050.
Cyswllt Ffermio
Farming Connect
canolbwyntio ar ffermwyr…
cefnogi teuluoedd ffermio…
helpu eich busnes i gyflawni ei botensial…
focusing on farmers…
supporting farming families…
helping your business reach its potential…
cronfa Amaethyddol ewrop ar gyfer
Datblygu gwledig: ewrop yn buddsoddi
mewn Ardaloedd gwledig
the european Agricultural fund for
rural Development: europe investing
in rural Areas
• reposition gate hinges so that they open
back against walls/barriers; fit chains to
hold them open and fit effective latches
heAlth AnD WelfAre
beware of liver
fluke infection
in housed cattle
and sheep
infection in the autumn usually precedes chronic
infection in cattle and sheep for the rest of the winter.
by Roger Daniel, Veterinary Investigation
Officer, VLA Carmarthen
• animals that were treated, in the autumn, with
a flukicide that killed adult fluke only. Immature
flukes will be unaffected by such treatment and
will have matured to cause disease now.
ost farmers will have treated their cattle
and sheep last autumn because of the
forecast of a high risk of fluke infection.
That forecast was based on the exceptionally wet
summer of 2008, which, although of no benefit to
most farmers, was of great benefit to the lifecycle
of the Liver fluke and its intermediate snail host.
There was good evidence that this forecast was
accurate, from diagnostic figures produced by the VLa
for acute fluke infection in sheep (figure 1). acute
farmers should therefore consider a further treatment
now for
• animals that were not treated in the autumn.
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
% of submissions diagnosed with Acute fasciolosis
figure 1 vlA rate of diagnosis of acute fluke
infection in sheep for the last 10 years
vaccinate early
for 2009
rural affairs Minister elin Jones said: “The current cold
weather should not lull farmers into a false sense of
security. We remain at risk from bluetongue in Wales,
and that risk intensifies as we approach the spring
and milder weather and midge activity increases.
armers in Wales should get ready now to
vaccinate their livestock against bluetongue ,
the Welsh Assembly government has said as it
launches the bluetongue vaccination strategy for 2009.
“The effectiveness of vaccination was demonstrated in
2008 by the fact that, in areas such as east anglia where
uptake of vaccine was high, there was no re-emergence of
the virus. If the Welsh livestock industry is to be protected
against bluetongue, most of our sheep and cattle need
to be vaccinated. Those who do not vaccinate are
putting their business at risk, their neighbours’ businesses
at risk and are prolonging the effect of the disease.”
Cattle and sheep farmers should therefore be aware that
housed and out-wintered animals could still harbour fluke
infection, depending on what they were treated with.
The risk of bluetongue to the Welsh farming
industry remains a reality, with the disease
circulating widely in europe, particularly france
which had more than 23,000 cases in 2008.
lambing advice for pregnant women
regnAnt women are advised to avoid
close contact with sheep during the
lambing season as they could be at risk
from infections that occur in some ewes.
These infections include chlamydiosis (enzootic
abortion of ewes – eae), and toxoplasmosis,
which are common causes of abortion in ewes.
Listeriosis and Q-fever may also occur.
The Welsh assembly Government is advising
pregnant women not to help lamb or milk ewes;
avoid contact with aborted or new-born lambs or
with the afterbirth; avoid handling all clothing that
has come into contact with lambing and to seek
medical advice if they experience fever or influenza
like symptoms, or are concerned that they could
have acquired infection from a farm environment.
although the number of reports of these infections
and human miscarriages resulting from contact
with sheep are extremely small, it is important that
pregnant women are aware of the potential risks.
Farmers should consult their vet over the choice
of flukicide, particularly as some products cannot
be used in lactating dairy cows, and others
have a significant milk withdrawal period.
If farmers are not sure whether they have fluke
infection in their sheep or cattle, they can check
this by submitting faeces samples to their nearest
VLA Regional Laboratory for a fluke egg count.
Or, for dairy cows, a bulk tank milk sample can be
submitted to check for fluke antibody, which gives
evidence of exposure to infection. Again results
should be interpreted with guidance from their vet.
Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Dr Christianne
Glossop, added: “There is still vaccine available from
2008 and when this supply is exhausted, farmers can
order and obtain commercially available vaccine via
their private vets which will be sufficient to protect
all the susceptible animals in Wales in 2009 .
“Farmers who took the decision to vaccinate last year will
also need to revaccinate in 2009. Those who chose to wait
until the spring should be making the necessary arrangements
to vaccinate now with their vets. Those who didn’t vaccinate
because of unfounded negative information are encouraged
to consider the facts of the benefits of vaccination and
prepare to protect their animals with vaccination in 2009.”
If an ewe aborts, farmers are advised to consult
their veterinary surgeon and to arrange for samples
to be examined at the Veterinary Laboratories
Agency to determine the cause of the disease.
It is a legal requirement that farmers must dispose of all
afterbirths promptly and safely via an animal by-products
approved route via a by-products collector if expedient,
and sent for disposal such as rendering, incineration
or knacker’s yard storage and transport must be leakproof covered containers or in sealed impervious
bags/sacks. Details of collectors in your area must be
obtained from your local Animal Health Officer.
HE importance of investing in animal
science has been stressed by Professor
Jamie Newbold, President of the
British Society of Animal Science (BSAS).
In the worst cases, sheep can die, and cattle will
suffer diarrhoea, anaemia and recumbency. Infected
cattle and sheep often show fluid accumulation under
the jaw, commonly referred to as �bottle jaw’.
New animal
science research
needed, policy
makers told
Speaking at a reception at the Senedd in Cardiff he
showcased examples of the contribution that animal
science has made in translating developments in biological
science into practical benefits for animals, producers,
consumers and the environment. He said, however,
that new research is needed to meet challenges such as
sustaining the rural economy, feeding a growing world
population and adapting to global climate change.
Prof. Newbold from Aberystwyth University said,
“British animal science has achieved much and given
better investment can provide Wales with a great
deal more. Global climate change is expected to
reduce food production in many parts of the world
– a particularly serious issue as the global human
population grows, and the expected doubling of
global demand for livestock products by 2050.
“Agricultural productivity in Northern Europe is, however,
expected to be less affected by climate change and
should increase the comparative advantage for livestock
industries that produce high quality products from land
unsuitable for growing human food directly. This gives
a great commercial opportunity in the medium term,
but we need to ensure we still have both the industry
and science capability to rise to this challenge”.
The reception for policymakers and industry
stakeholders was organised by BSAS and hosted by
Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones. Some 20 top UK
scientists met with members of the Welsh Assembly
Government, Welsh MPs and representatives
from the Welsh agricultural and food industry and
organisations concerned with the environment.
BSAS is especially keen to help provide independent
information and advice to help policymakers and those
involved in decision making achieve �best fit’ solutions
for the economy, environment and social life of Wales.
Chronic infection is caused by adult fluke that live in
the bile ducts, causing damage and blood loss because
of the parasite’s feeding activities. This can lead to a
slow deterioration in condition and adversely affect the
health of pregnant ewes, reduce milk yields in dairy
cows, and cause poorer weight gains in beef animals.
what’s on
Introductions to Open Farm Sunday
RGANISERS of Open Farm Sunday, which
this year is being held on 7 June, have
arranged two workshops in Wales to
introduce more farmers to the concept of organising
farm tours for local families, friends and neighbours.
These are on 28 April at Caerlan Farm, Penrhiwfer,
Tonypandy, CF40 1SN and on 29 April at Cannon Farm,
Llanerfyl, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 0JJ. To attend one of the
workshops or know more about Open Farm Sunday visit or telephone LEAF on 02476 413911.
10 February
11am – 3.30pm
Meat and two veg
Tyn y Pwll, Llanegryn Tywyn
OCW event looking at vegetable production on
livestock farms
Tony Little, OCW
01970 622248
10 February
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Diversification seminar
Llety Cynin, Llangynin Road,
St Clears
Help to turn your idea into reality
Menter a Busnes
01970 636289
11 February
OCW rationing and rotation
Cappele Farm Cerrigydrudion
Rationing and rotation planning event with David
Peers and Heather McCalman
Philip Jones, OCW
01970 622248
11 February
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Business planning/succession
Maesmawr Hall, Caersws
Menter a Busnes info event on business planning/
Menter a Busnes
01970 636289
11 February
Pig producer meeting
Nantyffin Motel Clynderwen SA66 7SU
CALU/HCC event promoting pig production in Wales
01248 680450
12 February
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Business planning/ succession
Glasdir Rural Development Centre,
Menter a Busnes info event on business planning/
Menter a Busnes
01970 636289
12 February
Pesticide use workshop
Coleg Gwent Usk NP15 1XJ
CALU/ CPD workshop on safe use of pesticides.
01248 680450
12 February
Goat producer Meeting
Nantyffin Motel, Clynderwen SA66 7SU Discussing routes to markets for goat producers in
01248 680450
23 February
2pm – 4pm
Diversification Seminar
Glwydcaenewydd, Crai, Brecon
Menter a Busnes seminar on diversification
Menter a Busnes
01970 636289
24 February
Manure management
Trefere Fawr, Penparc Cardigan
OCW event looking at manure management
Philip Jones, OCW
01970 622248
25 February
Wood fuel event
Henfaes Research Centre Bangor
How to manage woodlands for sustainable fuel
01248 680450
March 3
10am – 4pm
Bridging the Gap: Commerce & Sennybridge Village Hall
PONT free event about marketing products from
nature conservation such as meat and hay
Jessica Tyler, CALU
0772 6362699
4 March
Pesticide use workshop
Gelli Aur SA32 8LR
CALU/CPD workshop on safe use of pesticides
01248 680 450
18 March
11am – 3pm
CALU small scale production
Welsh College of Horticulture
Looking at small scale production and marketing of
fruit and vegetables
01248 680450
Rural stress support
Farm Crisis Network:
0845 367 9990. Open daily 7am – 11pm
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution:
01865 727 888. Open Mon – Thurs 9am – 5pm,
Fri 8.30am – 4.30pm. 24-hour answer machine.
Please check with organisations before travelling.
Changes may also be found on
Published by the Department for Rural Affairs and Heritage of the
Welsh Assembly Government, Produced by Golley Slater PR.
Editor: Roy Hancock Tel: 01970 828 567
email: [email protected] В© Crown Copyright January 2009.
Printed on recycled paper
Rural Stress Helpline:
0845 094 8286. Open weekdays 9am – 5pm.
08457 909 090 or local numbers.
Rural Support Wales:
How to find us
01792 310 436
Anyone wishing to speak to staff at our divisional St Asaph:
01745 535 527
or area offices can do so by calling one of the
01341 422 199
telephone numbers below:
01686 863 132
Llandrindod Wells:
01597 823 777 Aberystwyth:
01970 621 440
01286 674 144 Ffynnon Las, Cardiff:
029 2075 2222
01267 225 300 National Scrapie Plan Helpline: 08456 014 858
01874 625 123 Farming Connect Service Centre: 08456 000 813
For the very latest information on any disease outbreaks please phone one of the numbers above or