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Farming

FUW welcomes All Party Report

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Hazel Wright: Welcomes the report​

T​HE FARMERS’ UNION OF WALES (FUW) has welcomed the release of a report by the All Party Group on Animal Welfare (APGAW) which reviews the ongoing problem of livestock worrying and aims to encourage responsible dog ownership.

Amongst the issues examined were the lack of proper alternatives when green spaces are removed and the difficulty in prosecuting repeat offenders.

Dr Hazel Wright, FUW Senior Policy Officer said: “Livestock worrying continues to be an important issue for our members and we have repeatedly documented the wide-reaching damage that dog attacks can cause.”

The emotional and financial problems caused by livestock worrying were highlighted by the FUW during several evidence sessions held by the APGAW in London.

“The issues behind dog worrying are complex and it is frustrating that, despite significant industry investment, many members of the public remain unaware that their family pet can attack, injure or kill livestock,” added Dr Wright.

The report finds that proper management of dogs and reducing high-risk behaviour around livestock should be the primary focus when trying to reduce the number of dog attacks.

“As highlighted by the APGAW, many dog attacks happen by unaccompanied dogs that have strayed from the home environment and our messages about keeping dogs on a lead near livestock can only form part of the solution. We therefore welcome the call for research to examine the root causes of poor dog behaviour,” she added.

Lack of reporting means that the true impact of livestock worrying is still unknown and it is likely that many incidents go unreported.

However, where data has been collected, figures demonstrate that livestock worrying could be costing the sheep sector around 1.3 million pounds per year and this is a substantial amount of money for a sector which continues to suffer from low profitability.

“Business losses include loss of stock, production decreases due to stress, abortions and the loss of future earnings from stock. These costs can be significant and are coupled with insurance costs, veterinary bills and carcase disposal.

“The countryside is a place to be enjoyed and most members of the public are able to use the countryside without incident. However, farmers must be able to protect their animals and safeguard their businesses and it is important that the findings of this report are now translated into positive action,” added Dr Wright.

Farming

Access to EU Single Market and Customs Union critical for rural Wales

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Brian Thomas: ​​FUW Deputy President

N​EWS that Northern Ireland could be granted access to the European Single Market and Customs Union shows that it is possible to achieve what the Farmers’ Union of Wales has been calling for since the EU referendum.

Speaking from his farm in Pembrokeshire, ​​FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas said: “Different parts of the UK can’t be treated differently and we therefore call on the UK government to ensure that Wales, given its heavy reliance on red meat exports to the EU, is given the same treatment. Should this deal be offered and come to fruition we fully expect to have the same offered to us.

“In the farming community there is a real sense of worry, alarm and anger about the state of Brexit negotiations, and how the current state of play compares to what was promised by many before the referendum.

“And whilst we recognise that the Irish border situation presents some unique challenges that need to be overcome, rural Wales has challenges of its own, such the economic challenges we have long highlighted. We need to recognise the impact that failure to secure such access and reach agreement for Wales could have. Denying Wales access to the Single Market and Customs Union would have catastrophic consequences, as recently highlighted in scenarios from the FAPRI and Horizon reports.”

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Farming

Farmers from Wales and Oz join forces to showcase ‘lightning lamb’

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Jamie Heinrich and Richard Roderick: At the HCC lightning lamb cookoff

A ‘LIGHTNING LAMB’ cooking challenge featuring award-winning sheep farmers from both sides of the globe was one of the highlights of the recent Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells.

Surveys show that families in Britain have only 32 minutes on average to prepare an evening meal nowadays, as opposed to an hour in 1980. Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is taking steps to emphasise lamb’s quick-cook credentials, so enlisted the help of Australian farmer Jamie Heinrich and Breconshire’s own Richard Roderick in a ‘cookoff’ to prove it!

Jamie Heinrich hails from Kangaroo Island near Adelaide in South Australia, and operates a 2000-acre holding farming Poll Merino and White Suffolk sheep. His visit to Wales is part of a Nuffield Australia scholarship to study how to encourage young entrants to the industry.

Richard Roderick lives at Newton Farm near Talybont-on-Usk in the Brecon Beacons. He is a past HCC Scholar, and has won several farming accolades including the Silver Lapwing Award in 2016 for his environmental management. Earlier this year he featured on the BBC series ‘Nadiya’s British Food Adventure’.

With the help of HCC cook Elwen Roberts, Jamie rustled up a rapid Welsh Lamb stir-fry with oriental flavours, while Richard’s creation was a pan-fried leg steak with red wine sauce. After tasting and judging by members of the audience, the two delicious dishes could not be separated, so the Wales vs Australia match ended in an honourable draw.

“When I came over to Wales I certainly didn’t anticipate getting involved in a cookoff to promote lamb!” said Nuffield Australia Scholar Jamie Heinrich. “Many of the challenges for the industry – recruiting younger farmers and making sure that lamb is appealing to young consumers who are pushed for time – are the same the world over. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of my trip to Wales and Europe.”

HCC’s Elwen Roberts commented: “It was great fun to challenge two farmers to come up with a quick and tasty lamb recipe. They both did extremely well, and the Winter Fair audience loved seeing and tasting the food.”

“It’s important to emphasise that lamb can be an excellent choice for a quick evening meal,” she added. “HCC has recently launched a mobile-phone-friendly recipe selector on the eatwelshlamb.com website, to help give consumers inspiration for lamb dishes while on the move.”

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Farming

Food Centre Wales at the Farm Business Innovation show

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Arwyn Davies, Business Development Manager: With Angela Sawyer, Senior Food Technologist, Food Centre Wales

THE FOOD CENTRE WALES team were at the Farm Business Innovation show 2017 offering advice and support to businesses in the food and drinks industry.

The event held on November​ 8-9​ in Birmingham highlighted the continued interest in adding value to farm produce, particularly in Wales.

Arwyn Davies, Business Development Manager at Food Centre Wales, said​:​ “As this was the first time we had exhibited at the Farm Business Innovation show. We went in with an open mind, but we are pleased to report that it was a very successful two days. We spoke to many farm owners during the two days, many of whom were from Wales.”

Arwyn Davies’ talk on ‘Farm Diversification into Food Processing – Exploring Opportunities & Avoiding Pitfalls’ was very popular with every seat taken.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic and Community Development said​:​ “The Team at Food Centre Wales were interested to hear all the ideas and plans people had for diversifying their farm businesses. The Centre’s food technologists were on hand to offer advice on how farmers could add value to their food produce and what could be done do to help them along the process. If you didn’t get a change to call in at the stand, the Team are more than happy to help at the Centre.”

Food Centre Wales will be following up with inquiries received at the show, with the aim to help many develop their food products and reach new markets.
If you would like to know more about how Food Centre Wales can help you, get in touch by phone 01559 362230 or email gen@foodcentrewales.org.uk.

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