Fate of hill farmers lies in hands of the Government

UK - Northern hill farmers yesterday spoke of the plight they are in, with no income, extra stock to feed and dwindling forage supplies.
calendar icon 19 September 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Many warned that unless livestock markets quickly returned to normal, there could be animal welfare issues.

Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union, met them at Hawes Auction Mart, in North Yorkshire, only hours after a fifth outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed in Surrey.

advertisementThe mart's two-day sale of breeding lambs - which normally results in £2m exchanging hands and represents the biggest payday for about 500 local farmers - was cancelled this week due to foot-and-mouth restrictions.

Will Sedgley, 27, from Garston, should have sold 250 gimmer lambs at Monday's sale. Last year, he received an average of £65 a head.

He said: "They normally go for breeding to farmers down South, but they are still on the farm and we do not know what is happening.

"We plan the whole year knowing that they will be sold at that sale. Everything is planned round that -the feeding, grass management; everything."

The income from the sale is not profit, but goes on bills and running costs.

Source: Northern Echo
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