Pig and hen welfare guidance consultations launched

The government has launched consultations to potentially change guidance for pig- and poultry-keepers and help update welfare codes. 

New NSA chairman announced

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is pleased to announce Bryan Griffiths as its new board of trustees chairman. 

Plans for 32,000-strong chicken farm rejected

Plans for a 32,000 free-range chicken poultry unit in Llandeilo, west Wales have been refused permission after concerns were raised about its impact on the local area. 

Online BVD access for Northern Irish cattle farmers

Cattle farmers will be able to view their bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) statuses on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA) computer base from 12 February. 

Biosecurity bolstered to fights ‘highly infectious virus’

Wild bird deaths in Warwickshire and Dorset have prompted Defra to set up an England-wide bird flu prevention zone. 

HSA creates disease control slaughter guide

The Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) has published a new online guide, which covers the humane killing of livestock during disease control operations. 

Strong start to 2018 for Scottish sheep market

The first full week of trading in 2018 has seen farmgate prime hogg prices stabilise, standing 6% higher than last year and 2% higher in Euro terms, according to Quality Meat Scotland. 

Bird flu back in Britain – and more outbreaks expected

Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in 17 wild birds in Dorset, according to Defra. 

Chicken welfare proposals take another step forward

The government has updated its draft code for the welfare of broiler chickens following a consultation on the issue.

Residents express concerns over Scottish chicken farm

Concerns have reportedly been raised by residents living close to the site of a controversial £6m chicken breeding farm in Bankfoot, approved by Perth & Kinross Council.

Farmer subsidies to continue beyond Brexit

The Secretary of State Michael Gove has set out proposals to continue subsidies for UK farmers after Britain leaves the EU.

Welsh sheep population surpasses 10 million mark

The number of sheep in Wales has passed a count of 10 million for the first time since the turn of the century, newly-released statistics show. 

Farmers union highlight dangers of predators

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland has reiterated warnings about the reintroduction of predators – such as lynx and wolves – into the UK wild. 

New chairman sought for Pasture-Fed Livestock Association

The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) is seeking a new chairman to fill the role left vacant by John Meadley, who had run the organisation since 2011. 

Straw shortage presents livestock farmers with challenges

Some livestock farmers are having to look for alternatives to straw as their animals bed overwinter. 

Young Welsh leaders take agricultural future in own hands

A selection of young members of the Welsh agricultural scene have taken steps to secure the future of their industry by outlining their key priorities post-Brexit. 

Organic derogation extension avoids ‘severe consequences’ for pork and poultry producers

The news that two derogations for organic pigs and poultry have been extended has been welcomed by industry bodies, although the long-term future is still uncertain. 

Qatar has ‘strong interest’ in Welsh Lamb

Tiny oil and gas-rich state Qatar has developed a big appetite for the finest cuts of premium Welsh Lamb, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) told this site. 

Poultry industry urges safeguarding of welfare standards

British poultry farmers have called for public procurement of British food and no dilution of health and welfare standards in Brexit trade deals. 

Prime cattle prices restored

There could be a possible “mismatch” between the price of beef and volume available this Christmas. 

Sheep sector seeks young ambassadors

The hunt is on for young sheep farmers to represent the industry as part of the National Sheep Association (NSA) Next Generation project. 

Government scheme to ‘reduce burden’ for Welsh meat industry

A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) will enable the reduction of animal feed inspections of farms across Wales by local authority trading standards. 

Northern Ireland prime throughputs see Christmas rise

Northern Ireland prime cattle throughput in local plants has increased with 7,283 head killed in the last week.

Gove sets out government’s animal sentience position

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has moved to clarify the government’s position on animal sentience following what he felt were “misconceptions” that it voted against the idea that animals are sentient beings.

Livestock worrying costs farmers £1.3 million in 2016

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has urged local authorities to take measures to prevent livestock worrying, with dog attacks becoming a growing concern for farmers.

New Assured Food Standards chairman announced

Assured Food Standards (AFS), the owner and operator of Red Tractor Assurance, has appointed Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe as its new chairman.

Chancellor urged to prioritise British farming in upcoming Budget Statement

The importance of the British farming industry has been highlighted in a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. 

Scottish red meat sector positioned to tackle Brexit challenge

The Scottish red meat sector has been told that it has a strong future ahead of it, despite the obstacles that may be presented by Brexit. 

Lynx UK Trust remains hopeful of reintroduction after attack

The Lynx UK Trust has said it remains optimistic that plans to reintroduce lynx into the Kielder Forest area will be given the go-ahead.

Farmers 'angry' at Mercosur deal, says industry body

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has spoken out in opposition to plans to include beef in a deal with Latin American trade bloc Mercosur. 

Lynx attack on sheep increases industry body tension

An escaped Eurasian lynx has been blamed for the death of seven Welsh sheep. 

New lamb brand to meet market demands of premium meat

A Northern Irish farming family has developed a new lamb meat brand with the aim of meeting demand for high-quality meat. 

Exports could be key to Welsh red meat industry success, says levy board

The Welsh red meat industry has been advised to eye-up export opportunities, according to chairman of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) Kevin Roberts. 

Pig industry faces labour Brexit crisis

The UK pig industry could be faced with a massive labour shortage if the government does not retain access to EU workers following Brexit, according to a National Pig Association (NPA) members survey. 

Northern Irish beef farm branches into pork market

Northern Ireland’s Castlescreen Farm, traditionally a beef producer, has diversified business by starting to produce gammon and bacon options. 

Scottish pig herd shrinking

The number of Scottish pigs has declined for the first time in four years, promoting warnings the decline could hit production rates. 

Meat industry reacts to new antibiotic targets

The British meat industry has largely welcomed new targets for antibiotic usage in animals set out by Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA). 

Sainsbury’s in vertical integration beef supply trial

Supermarket Sainsbury’s has confirmed it is in the “very early stages” of a pilot scheme to test vertical integration of its beef supply chain.

Animal antibiotic sales in the UK fall to record low

Sales of antibiotics for use in animals have fallen to their lowest level since records began, according to a Defra report.

Multi-million euro campaign to boost lamb consumption

The UK has signed on as part of a cross-country campaign to boost lamb consumption in the EU over a three-year period. 

AHDB & NFU equip farmers for Brexit

Levy organisation the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is rallying livestock farmers behind a campaign to future-proof them against the worst Brexit scenarios, in partnership with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). 

Northern Irish beef farm secures first retail business

Castlescreen Farm, based in Co Downpatrick, has expanded its market reach by signing its first deal with a retail business. 

DNA testing could guarantee authenticity of Scotch Beef PGI

Proposals to introduce a DNA testing programme that would secure the legitimacy of Scotch Beef PGI are being explored by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). 

Pig farmgate prices steady following extended volatility

Farmgate pig prices have returned to a traditional seasonal pattern in 2017, following considerable volatility in recent years. 

Industry divided over live export restrictions

The industry has presented countering arguments over plans to restrict the number of live animals being exported from the UK. 

Pasture for Life receives multi-million pound funding

A new research project will look into Pasture for Life’s meat production, exploring ways to increase the resilience and sustainability of the UK food system. 

NFU issues Brexit agriculture policy plan

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) wants government to adopt a bold domestic agriculture policy after exiting the EU.  

Poultry dominates British livestock production

A new report has shown that poultry is the most farmed livestock category within Britain. 

Training scheme raises level of farming professionalism

The farming community is being encouraged to put themselves forward for a management training scheme, which could save businesses thousands of pounds.

Skipton Auction Mart launches charity initiative

The first lamb purchase through Skipton Auction Mart’s new charity programme has been completed.