Farmer to roll out UK-wide text service for livestock issues

Highly visible signs are placed on farmland which explain to the public how to report any problems
Highly visible signs are placed on farmland which explain to the public how to report any problems

An Isle of Wight farmer has launched a new text service for farmers so they can be alerted quickly if anything happens to their livestock.

Livestock Lookout, developed by Tim Rogers who farms 250-acres in Wootton, allows the public to notify farmers on livestock-related issues that they may need to attend to.

The phone line confidentially alerts farmers via a text message to problems such as sheep worrying, escaped cows or even livestock theft.

The highly visible signs display the service's contact number which the public can text or call should they notice any issue with livestock.

Their identity and contact information is kept completely confidential at all time.

Alerts to the Livestock Lookout service are relayed via a central exchange directory to the subscribing farmer.

The idea was borne out of Mr Rogers' personal experience, who was faced with an instance of livestock breaking through a fence on to a public footpath which lead to a residential area.

Not knowing who the animals belonged to several members of public attempted to contact him by posting the issue on the local farming community Facebook page.

However, it took some time before he had been tracked down and the cows had caused a 'fair bit of mayhem' in the meantime.

"With a footpath running along our boundary we decided it would be a good idea to erect a sign with our contact details so that we could be contacted quickly should walkers notice any other issues with our livestock," Mr Rogers explained.

"We were soon receiving enquiries from people who wanted to use our land for metal detecting, dirt-biking or wild camping. Not what we had wanted.

"And so the idea came about, a confidential service whereby farmers could be alerted quickly and easily about issues with their livestock without divulging their names or contact details. "

Mr Rogers is now looking to roll the service out across the country.