19 April 2015 | Online since 2003



4 April 2013|News,Sheep

Perished livestock must be disposed of free of charge, says NFU


Ewes and lambs that have perished in the snow drifts that unexpectedly hit the south coast line of West Cumbria should be taken away by the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) free of charge, the National Farmers' Union has said.

The NFU has called on both Defra and the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) to help those farmers who have suffered heavy losses by providing a temporary, free collection service for animals killed by the snow.

Farms around the upland areas of Broughton, Millom, Eskdale, Wasdale, Langdale and Ulpha have been particularly badly affected by the snow drifts which in parts have been over 20 feet deep. Esther Pritt has been helping her members to dig out sheep from the drifts.

"The situation is desperate as most farmers I'm talking to in the area have already lost ewes and lambs numbering into the 80s and that is only what they've managed to find so far" she said.

"It's heart breaking to witness as they currently don’t know the full scale of their losses and really don’t want to think about the worst case scenario. Many ewes that initially survive later die of exhaustion or are aborting. The situation is serious. A lot of farmers simply haven’t got the money to get these animals collected."

Alistair Mackintosh farms at Ravenglass in Muncaster and has lost 100 lambs and 20 ewes. Mackintosh, who is Cumbria's NFU representative, added: "There are a number of farmers with hundreds of sheep still unaccounted for. This extra burden to have these carcasses taken away at a cost is intolerable and an insult to the farmers who have suffered from a natural disaster. To add this extra burden to those farmers who are already suffering from the loss of their sheep is unacceptable.

"I endorse the NFU’s position to fund the free collection of those animals and urge the National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) and government to step up to the mark as time is of the essence. They need to act quickly so farmers have the confidence to send these dead animals away on the National Fallen Stock Scheme in the knowledge that they won’t receive a bill that could run into the thousands."

Many of the flocks that are effected are hefted which is a traditional method of managing flocks of sheep on large areas of common land and communal grazing. Initially, sheep had to be kept in an unfenced area of land by constant shepherding.

Over time this has become learned behaviour, passed from ewe to lamb over succeeding generations.

Lambs graze with their mothers on the fell belonging to their farm instilling a lifelong knowledge of where optimal grazing and shelter can be found throughout the year.

No animals are insured for this sort of occurrence so the farmers will receive no compensation for their losses, be faced with large replacement bills and have the arduous task of teaching those replacements the learned behaviour of hefting which is usually passed from ewe to lamb over succeeding generations.

Download



Comments


09-04-2013 09:23 AM | Posted by: Alex
I'm heartbroken to learn of these devastating losses. I think the farmers need all the help they can get - financial, physical and especially emotional. If any of them read this then know I'm thinking of you.

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


14 April 2015
Labourer
Experienced CSCS Labourer required for farm house refurbishment job near Huntingdon. Duties will include assisting the trades...

17 April 2015
Multi skilled Maintenance Engineer
Home to some of the UK's leading dairy brands, including Cravendale, Anchor, Lurpak and Tickler, Arla Foods is the UK's numbe...

13 April 2015
Business Development Executive - Hampshire
Located in beautiful surroundings, with prestigious offices on a working dairy farm in Petersfield, Hampshire, this company i...

16 April 2015
Assistant Herdsperson, Lancashire ref 297
Will have prior experience on a dairy farm. Our client in is seeking an Assistant herdsperson to do milking and yard work on ...

16 April 2015
Hospitality Apprentice
You can come to us for apprenticeship training in a wide range of occupations including– Agriculture, Apparel, Arboriculture,...





Related Companies


Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

Final phase of Scotland's war on BVD

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...


10 April 2015 | Dairy

Dairy farmers competitiveness will be te...

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...


10 April 2015 | Cattle

EU milk sector growth 'dependent on expo...

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...


10 April 2015 | News

Could the rural vote hold the key to the...

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...


10 April 2015 | Arable

Action needed to boost farmgate prices i...

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...


9 April 2015 | Arable

OSR damage risks early Sclerotinia infec...

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...


9 April 2015 | Finance

Time for a farm rent revolution?

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...


8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent strengthens reputation for high c...

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...


8 April 2015 | Arable

Exotic plant fungus a 'serious threat to...

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...


7 April 2015 | Animal Health

Share information to tackle food fraud, ...

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...