Two brothers have taken it upon themselves to transport a lorry of fodder across UK borders after an avalanche has left Italy’s livestock running out of food.
Update: Brothers Phil and Andrew have arrived at the emergency distribution centre in Teramo, Italy to more than 4m of snow.
57-year-old Phil Jennings said the extreme weather had caused more than 250 barns to collapse.
Hundreds of thousands of livestock have been killed, including: 150,000 chickens, 3,000 pigs, 151 cattle and 1,157 sheep and goats.
But the farmers are said to be ’very thankful’ for the donations.
Follow their story here.
Phil Jennings, 57, and his brother Andrew, 45, from Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, have promised to help pull the industry together as they prepare to venture to Farindola, Italy, on Monday (January 30) after 4m of snow battered the areas farmland.
The brothers used their extensive farming background to ply together supplies, many from local farmers and businesses, to take on their 30-hour journey to help rescue the livestock from the snow-driven fodder shortage.
One farmer has already died after a barn collapsed and other livestock have been killed.
Dawn Fletcher, Phil’s partner who has family over in Italy, said Phil ’knew what it was like’ so had taken it upon himself to book a week off work as a heating engineer to volunteer his time and spare fodder to the emergency distribution centre. Andrew, a haulage contractor, has done the same and will join Phil two days later with his lorry.
"We just felt that we needed to help these poor people that seem to be suffering one disaster after another," she said. "We are so far sending a lorry across with 36 bales, and Phil is taking our Land Rover and 16ft trailer filled with silage.
"The Eurotunnel have donated a complimentary ticket for the lorry to France but we are funding the rest and it is proving very costly."
Before the animals can access the food, it must be transported to a temporary distribution centre in Teramo, a city off the East-Coast of Italy, before being helicoptered to farmland.
The snow is so deep this is the only viable option.
Although the brothers have already had a helping hand along the way through donations from local farmers and businesses, the journey is still set to face huge costs.
They still have to find costs to cover a €260(£221.58) lorry toll through France, the Mont Blanc tunnel fee of €317.50(£270.59) and the Italian motorway toll of €176.10(£150.08). There are also petrol costs which are expected to be around £1,000 each way.
Ms Fletcher added: "We are not a charity and therefore the authorities for the Mont Blanc Tunnel and Italian motorways cannot waiver the fee.
"If there are any charities that can help us by providing a letter or helping us in that way, or if anybody can help with donations for fuel or tolls we would be immensely grateful."
Anyone who is able to donate please visit Phil and Andrew’s just giving page.
Alternatively if anyone can help in another way, Phil and Dawn can be contacted on 01283 530 827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.