Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Farming

‘Protect your flocks now, to avoid losing them to avian flu’, says Wales’ Chief Vet

Published

on

POULTRY keepers need to take action now to make sure they have biosecurity measures in place to protect their birds, or risk losing their flocks to bird flu, the Chief Vet for Wales, Christianne Glossop, has said in recent days.

The warning has come as the UK as a whole faces its most significant bird flu season ever. Over 50 cases have been recorded to date in kept birds, with three in Wales.

New housing measures were introduced last month to stop the disease from spreading, which means keepers are legally required to keep birds indoors and follow biosecurity measures.*

Wild birds and other wildlife can spread the disease so it is vital to not allow wild birds to mix with chickens, ducks, geese or other birds.

People can also spread the disease on their clothes and shoes so before going into bird enclosures you should wash your hands, and change or clean and disinfect your footwear.

Whilst the main source of infection comes from migratory wild birds, those failing to implement these measures risk infecting their own flocks by walking the virus into their holdings.

The risk to human health from this strain of the avian influenza virus is very low. It is safe to eat poultry meat and eggs as usual.

Wales Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop said: “We are currently seeing unprecedented levels of bird flu across the UK, and bird keepers must ensure they implement the very highest levels of biosecurity to protect their flocks. This applies whether you have one bird or a large flock.

“Excellent biosecurity if the best thing you can do to protect your birds from this disease. Without it your flocks will be at risk.

“An outbreak of bird flu in a flock is a devastating experience. Please ensure you keep your birds protected and limit the spread of the disease.”

Poultry keepers must do the following:

house or net all poultry and captive birds to keep them separate from wild birds;

  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing;
  • where possible change their footwear before entering sheds housing poultry and captive birds. If not, then ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected;
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control;
  • thoroughly cleanse and disinfect housing on a continuous basis;
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points; and
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds.
  • We would encourage all keepers to register their birds on the Poultry Register. This is a legal requirement if you have 50 birds or more. Registering with us means that we will be able to contact you with information or action required should an outbreak happen near you.

Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find. If you find dead swans, geese or ducks or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

To find out more on how to register on the Poultry Register and for the latest information regarding avian influenza visit: www.gov.wales/avian-influenza

To report suspicion of disease in Wales contact 0300 303 8268

Continue Reading

Farming

Pembrokeshire producer celebrating Porc from Wales Week

Published

on

PORC from Wales Week (24 – 30 January) is an annual celebration of artisan producers and retailers that specialise in breeding and supplying high quality porc and porc products, from traditional Welsh sausages to Italian style charcuterie.

With a ‘How far is your fork from our porc’ theme this year, leading figures from Welsh food such as broadcasters Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn of Hang Fire Southern Kitchen fame, and a host of food bloggers from Wales, will be showcasing the very best of locally sourced porc and where consumers can buy it from.

Experts in their field

Wales is home to small-scale and artisan porc producers specialising in creating a unique, hand-reared product; a consequence of this is that it is often only available to buy directly from the producer or local independent shops, like butchers.

How food is produced and the impact it has on the environment have increasingly become important factors for consumers in recent years. For generations, Welsh farmers have played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining the rural landscapes that we know and love, both physically and culturally.

The industry is currently a growing one in Wales with an increasing number of producers starting a new business and research has shown that 2021 sales of pork products UK-wide (fresh and frozen, cuts and processed) were 15% higher than in 2019.

Aled Harper of Snipes Bay Meats, near Haverfordwest, said: “We are small scale farmers in the heart of Pembrokeshire, breeding and rearing pigs to produce quality porc, dry cured bacon and handmade sausages.

“I believe that quality comes not only with skill and attention to detail, but also with dedication and passion. The trick is not to become complacent. That’s when your product will become just another product and not the unique, artisan end product that we aspire to.

“The bonus of buying porc from your local producer is that you know where your meat is coming from. Buying local helps keep everything moving along nicely in our small supply chain. There’s a certain satisfaction when you buy local – its benefits go way beyond the actual product you buy. The effects will be seen on a community level, an economic level and of course on a more holistic, environmental level.”

When Hang Fire met Scott Quinnell

To celebrate Porc from Wales Week, Sam and Shauna will be showing rugby legend Scott Quinnell how to cook porc ‘tomahawks’ with West Indian salsa verde, sweet potato steaks and jerk porc bonbons. 

Sam Evans of the Hang Fire duo said: “We’re delighted to be part of this year’s Porc from Wales Week. We’re all about cooking fresh, local, quality ingredients, with excellent sustainability credentials, so really, porc ticks all our boxes!

“We’ve created this amazing dish of porc tomahawks with a West Indian salsa verde and Scott Quinnell is going to help us make the dish in an exclusive masterclass. We’ll show you (and Scott!) how easy it is to prepare and cook porc and introduce you to some exciting flavours.

“What makes porc so special is that it’s so easy to cook with. We love cooking porc on the BBQ, but we’re excited to show you (and Scott) how you get the best from this fantastic produce in your own kitchen. You can get some cracking results from porc, and people shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with flavours. And it’s not just about bangers on the barbie; porc is great for roasting, frying, stir-frying and slow cooking. So, why not pop to your local butcher’s shop or your local pork producer and ask your butcher for some delicious porc. You won’t be disappointed!”

You can find Hang Fire’s recipe and more information on Porc from Wales Week at www.porcweek.wales

Continue Reading

Farming

WG won’t act to help tenant farmers

Published

on

UNSCRUPULOUS landowners are attempting to evict farm tenants to regain possession of land let under Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies for tree planting purposes.


TFA Cymru reports that some landowners, in an effort to cash in on Welsh Government subsidies are trying to use a procedural trick to force tenants off productive farmland.


And it looks like the Welsh Government proposes to do nothing to stop them.


The Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 allows a landlord to use what is called a Case B notice to quit on a tenant if the landlord has gained planning permission for non-agricultural use of the land.


However, tree planting does not require planning permission and therefore a Case B notice to quit cannot be validly served by a landlord who intends to plant trees on the land which is subject to the notice.


TFA Rural Surveyor, Caroline Squire, said “We are seeing a lot of instances where landlords are attempting to resume land for tree planting by using Case B notices. Tenants are not able to contest these notices, so they are quite frightening when they arrive.


“However, tenants can ask for the notice to quit to be referred to arbitration to determine that it is an ineligible notice.


“It is critically important that the notice demanding arbitration is served by the tenant within one month of the date of the landlord’s notice to quit. Failure to respond within the deadline will render the landlords notice valid.


“The only circumstance in which a Case B notice to quit for tree planting might be valid is if the tree planting was ancillary to a development which had planning permission – for example, if there was planning permission for a timber processing facility and the land around it was required to grow timber to be used within that facility.


“Similarly, a landscaping requirement for a housing development might also fall within scope. However, straight tree planting without a co

nnected change of use confirmed by a planning consent will always be out of scope for case B,” said Caroline.


We asked the Welsh Government what steps it was taking NOW to protect tenant farmers’ rights and prevent the abuse of the notice system by rogue landlords.


We also ask what further steps, if any, it proposes to ensure tenants have increased security, tenant farms remain viable, and productive farmland is not destroyed in the pursuit of a subsidy.


And the answer to those questions was “not much”.


A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We encourage tenants in receipt of Case B notices to seek immediate advice from a relevant professional, such as the Tenant Farmers Association, and act within the statutory deadlines.”


They continued to offer even less than “not much”: “We need to plant 86 million trees by the end of this decade if we are to meet NetZero carbon emissions by 2050.


“Properly managed, this also offers a considerable opportunity to the rural economy to create green jobs and skills in harvesting timber for high-value goods.


“We want to work with Welsh farmers and landowners to achieve this.”


In short, the Welsh Government will do nothing to address any current problems and prefers planting trees to food production.


Local MS Sam Kurtz, the Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, said: “This is an alarming situation and one that deserves serious action from the Welsh Government.


 “We already know that Welsh farmers are facing unprecedented pressure from foreign investors to sell off their land for tree planting. If that wasn’t enough, it now appears their attention has shifted to landlords – and so, putting further stress and strain on our tenant farmers.


“The Welsh Government must take serious and immediate action, and not wait for the introduction of the new farming support schemes. It is they who have created the lucrative woodland creation project. Except, it’s not Wales’s farming community who are benefitting from these projects, neither are the people of Wales.


“If we see the landscape of Welsh farms cut up, sold off, and diminished in favour of mass afforestation, then so too we will see the demise of Wales’s rural communities and economies.”

Continue Reading

Farming

Home Office accused over labour shortages

Published

on

WESTMINSTER’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee questioned the Minister for Safe and Legal Migration at the Home Office, Kevin Foster MP last week.

Following this meeting, the Chair of the Committee, Neil Parish MP, said: “Labour shortages in the food and farming sector have caused a human and animal welfare crisis. But the Home Office is simply not listening. It is not supplying enough visas for foreign workers in a timely, efficient manner.

“Employers need workers and cannot get them in time. Pigs are being culled and wasted because there are not enough butchers in the abattoirs. Fruit is rotting on trees and crops are not being planted.

“There appears to be a disconnect between this reality and what Mr Foster says.

“Again and again during our evidence session, he said visa systems were in place to resolve the labour shortages.

“The food and farming sector tells us this is not the case.

“We need the Home Office to respond to what farmers and businesses are saying and to stop blaming the sector for being at fault.

“We need an effective cross-Government food and farming labour strategy that deals with immigration and other issues – and we need it fast.

“We have a world-class food production capacity in the UK, but the shortage of workers means we are in real danger of exporting our industry – which means we’ll be importing more of our food

“We were pleased to learn from the Minister that a temporary visa scheme is to be extended to cover the ornamental horticulture sector.

“That’s good news for the daffodil growers of Cornwall – and we thank Mr Foster for that.

“But much of the rest of the farming and food sector is in crisis and we ask the Minister to please listen to its entirely justified cries for help.”

Continue Reading

News1 day ago

Wales completes move to alert level 0

THE MOVE completes the Welsh Government’s phased lifting of the alert level 2 protections, which were put in place on...

News2 days ago

‘Handyman’ took money from elderly victims but failed to do any work

A ‘HANDYMAN’ who took money from two elderly couples but never turned up to do any work has admitted a...

News2 days ago

Judge set to sentence Neyland man following horrific Castle Square attack

A 20-YEAR-OLD Neyland man has been sent to Swansea Crown Court for sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of...

News3 days ago

County Hall tribute for Holocaust Memorial Day

COUNTY HALL in Haverfordwest will be lit in purple on Thursday 27th January for Holocaust Memorial Day. Holocaust Memorial Day...

News3 days ago

Self-isolation period cut to five days in Wales

PEOPLE who test positive for Covid-19 will be able to leave self-isolation after five full days if they have two...

News4 days ago

Denial of Wales-specific Covid inquiry ‘no longer tenable’ say Welsh Conservatives

THE WELSH CONSERVATIVES have reiterated their call for an inquiry that focuses exclusively on the actions of the Welsh Government...

News5 days ago

Appeal following road traffic collision on Salutation Square, Haverfordwest

POLICE in Haverfordwest attended a road traffic collision which occurred at approximately 2.45pm today, Monday 24th January 2022, on Salutation...

News5 days ago

Pembroke Dock child rapist Stephen Bladen died whilst serving prison sentence

A PEMBROKE DOCK paedophile, jailed for 21 years for child rape and sexual assault, died last year whilst serving his...

Community5 days ago

Residents wanted to aid Newgale coastal adaptation project

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is looking for people to get involved in the Newgale Coastal Adaptation scheme through a number of...

Entertainment5 days ago

BBC Wales Investigates: Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight

TONIGHT 24/1/22, 7.30pm, BBC One Wales THE FAMILIES of two men who died within weeks of each other after incidents...

Popular This Week