Livestock

BVD deadline for Scottish cattle keepers

Scottish cattle keepers must have their Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) statuses established or face movement restrictions, according to new guidance which comes into effect today (1 June). 

Scotch beef producers face lower margins

Poor exchange rates, reduced demand and full abattoirs have conspired to force the price of Scotch beef down, leaving many Scottish prime beef producers struggling to make a margin, according to the National Farmers Union Scotland.  

West Country Beef and Lamb PGI status branded a success

The first year of West Country Beef and Lamb bearing the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) banner has been labelled a success. 

National Pig Association honours John Godfrey with first-ever Lifetime Fellowship

The National Pig Association (NPA) has awarded John Godfrey its first Lifetime Fellowship. Godfrey, a North Lincolnshire producer, has been given the honour in recognition of his exceptional service to the British pig industry. 

Bpex publishes guidelines to combat PEDv

A new set of guidelines has been released to help tackle a potential outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv). 

Pig slaughterings in the UK rise 3.4% in April

Official figures released by the government for show UK pig slaughterings have continued to rise. 

Survey finds low awareness of mutton products

Confidence among mutton producers is buoyant, with high levels of innovation and a wide variety of products on the market. However, not enough consumers know about the benefits of mutton and some producers struggle to find a market for the whole carcase. 

Pig producers could use viruses to tackle bacterial infections

Pig producers could soon be using viruses to treat bacterial infections, if innovative new research proves effective. Prof Martha Clokie from the University of Leicester is to lead a new research project examining whether certain types of viruses could be used to treat brachyspira and salmonella in pigs. 

Beef association calls for pricing support for farmers

The South West regional branch of the National Beef Association (NBA) has called for more support for farmers on pricing. 

FSA unannounced inspections reveal mostly good animal welfare standards in UK slaughterhouses

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has unveiled the results of its unannounced inspections of slaughterhouses across Britain. 

Ireland outperforms UK in tackling bovine TB

The minister for agriculture in Ireland has claimed its badger cull had been a “huge success” and said Ireland was tackling bovine TB better than the UK. 

Animal farm gate prices drop in March

Overall farm gate prices for animals have dropped year-on-year for the month of March. 

More work for pig producers under COOL

New EU rules on country of origin labelling mean pig producers will now have to answer some extra questions on the electronic pig movement service, eAML2. 

Slaughterhouse owner banned from keeping livestock for 20 years

A slaughterhouse owner has been banned from keeping livestock or managing a food business for 20 years. 

COOL affecting lamb prices in Northern Ireland

Country-of-origin labelling (COOL) has caused lamb prices in Northern Ireland to slump, because UK consumers are put off buying lamb labelled as being from another country, the National Sheep Association (NSA) has claimed. 

Greater lamb numbers create trading difficulties

Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) - Meat Promotion Wales has reported increased ewe numbers to be causing a “subdued” marketplace. 

Cranswick reports positive progress in year-end results

Pork processor Cranswick has posted sales of over £1bn due to “excellent strategic and commercial progress in the last year”, the company reported.

QMS publishes sheep lameness prevention guide

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched a new publication to help farmers prevent sheep lameness. 

Farming issues flagged up in Prince Charles’ ‘black spider letters’

The release of Prince Charles’ so-called black spider letters, published this week under the Freedom of Information Act, has revealed some of his views on issues affecting British agriculture. 

Isle of Wight no longer exempt from fallen stock ban

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has amended its guidance on fallen stock and the safe disposal of dead animals. 

Abattoir fined for lack of staffing controls

A turkey abattoir in Essex has been prosecuted for not upholding consumer safety.

NFU urges government to act on farming issues

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is calling on David Cameron’s new government to take decisive action on issues such as Basic Payment System (BPS) and TB eradication. 

Sterling linked to cattle export fall

The rise in value of sterling has been attributed to the drop in exports of finished cattle, according to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Welsh focus on pig profits

Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is to launch a new website to help promote Welsh pork, while ‘profiting from pig production’ will be the focus of an upcoming livestock festival in the country.

Irish body calls for end to low cattle quotes

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has claimed factories are attempting to lower cattle quotes in an effort to destabilise the trade and get another week’s supply at lower prices.

Fresh meat and poultry decline in value and volume

Sales of fresh meat and poultry have dropped in both value and volume over the 12 weeks to 26 April 2015.

Cattle disease principles agreed

A number of farming and veterinary organisations have agreed three principles on how the next government should tackle cattle disease, according to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Sheep genetics project seeks suitable rams

A new project that aims for genetic improvement in the sheep industry is looking for rams for artificial insemination (AI).

AHDB leads bid to establish livestock centre of excellence

The food and livestock industries have backed the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) bid for a Centre of Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).

New lamb season sees slow start

A strong sterling, low export demand, and heavy hoggs have all contributed to a slow start for the new lamb season, according to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Pig association cautions against pet micro-pigs

The National Pig Association (NPA) is urging the public to abandon a trend of keeping micro-pigs as pets, due to “perpetuating serious animal welfare problems”.

BDCI to offer £5,000 bursary through Harper Adams University

The Butchers’ and Drovers’ Charitable Institution (BDCI) is to offer a £5,000 bursary through Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

Natural mineral proves beneficial to livestock

A natural mineral, which has been shown to lead to improved conditions in cattle, ewes and lambs, is being incorporated into a new feed product being launched next week by Rumenco, the livestock feed block manufacturers. 

2 Sisters makes antibiotic commitment on poultry

2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG) is to stop using in its poultry production all antibiotics prioritised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being critically important to human health. 

Waitrose pork farmers enjoy Eco Pig benefits

Pork farmers supplying Waitrose have saved an estimated £850,000 on feed per year since 2010, following a £3m investment to roll out an innovative feeding system known as Eco Pig.

British meat bodies increase overseas activity

British red meat bodies are stepping up efforts to promote Welsh and Scottish red meat overseas.

QMS reports boost to Scottish Quality Assurance scheme

The Scottish meat industry has welcomed increased numbers of farmers joining Quality Meat Scotland’s (QMS) Quality Assurance scheme.

Organic body meets Welsh Government on farming policy

Soil Association representatives met members of the Welsh Government yesterday (Thursday 30 April), to discuss their priorities for farmers and agricultural policy for the next 12 months.

Don’t miss future of food and drink conference

Today is the last day to get your hands on early bird tickets for our New Frontiers in Food and Drink conference.

Scotch pie line rolled out in Asda

Ayrshire meat company, We Hae Meat, has rolled out its single-portion Scotch pie range to 62 Asda stores across Scotland.

New meat sensor aims to help combat waste

Scientists at the Massachusetts University of Technology (MIT) have created a sensor which detects gases emitted from rotting meat, which could help to reduce food waste.

Concerns over new bTB testing regime

Cattle farmers have raised concerns over a new bovine TB (bTB) testing programme, due to come into force in England on 1 May, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has reported.

Supply-demand imbalance hits cattle prices

Cattle prices are coming under pressure from slow consumer demand and ample supply, Eblex has warned.

Bill Gates issues pro-meat blog

Former vegetarian and billionaire Bill Gates has backed meat production in his latest blog post, stating you can eat meat and still be environmentally friendly.

Horsemeat investigation results in numerous arrests

A European crackdown on the illegal horsemeat trade resulted in 26 arrests on Friday (24 April), according to the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust).

QMS gains funding boost for Scottish red meat industry

The Scottish red meat industry is set to receive €1.2 million (£861,000) from the European Commission (EC), thanks to a grant secured by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Pig health under scrutiny at Bpex event

The pig industry will look for new insights to safeguard pig health in the future at its annual Bpex Innovation Conference on 13 May.

Beef supply and demand set to settle, says QMS

Beef prices could begin to firm up in the coming months, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has predicted, in welcome news for cattle farmers, who have faced falling prices during the first part of the year.

Red Tractor mulls over results of welfare consultation

The decision on whether to extend the Red Tractor Assurance (RTA) scheme to cover the whole life of the cattle, rather than just the 90-day finishing period, is unlikely to be made until August, following the end of a consultation on the proposals.

Mintec report points to difficult trading period for UK meat industry

The latest Mintec update on meat and livestock, published 17 April, paints a disappointing picture of falling prices and challenging circumstances, including the Russian ban on EU pig meat, creating difficult trading conditions across much of the UK industry.

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