Rare Breeds Extinction Warning, Farm Vets, Bee Health and Scottish Pigs
There's a warning that time is running out for some of Britain's historic breeds of farm livestock. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust says without money and action, extinction is a real possibility for five native breeds; Vaynol cattle, the Cleveland Bay horse, the Suffolk Punch horse and two pig breeds, the British Landrace and the British Lop. The charity is calling on the Government and the public to help fund its gene bank to ensure the breeds have a future.
A West Country farm vet has been sharing her experiences of being injured by livestock. A survey by the British Veterinary Association in 2015 found that 50% of the vets questioned had been hurt by livestock in the previous year. Amy Jones from Cornwall told Farming Today that in the past she had trapped her hand in cattle crushes, was kicked in the abdomen by a cow and had her arm broken when she was thrown in the air by a bull.
Honeybees are struggling to get enough 'good bacteria' from the flowers they visit according to the latest research. Scientists at Lancaster University say a reduction in the number of indigenous plants in the UK is affecting the pollinators' long-term food supply and making it harder for them to fight off diseases. But a solution could be the planting of more native hedgerows, heathers, thistle and cherry trees.
The fight to prevent disease in pig herds has taken a step forward in Scotland with a new self-help scheme for breeders. Farmers have agreed to share information for the first time about the health status of their units and any signs of disease they spot.
Presented by Anna Hill.
Produced by Vernon Harwood.