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Phil Latham: Welcoming a new arrival home as an unwanted letter arrives

First cut silage was completed in two parts, the first snatched in a narrow window of weather and the second simply to remove some grass in time for our next one-day horse event.

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I am happy with the first part at 5.3 tonnes DM/hectare (2.1t DM/acre) but the second was low yielding and relatively expensive as it was hauled from one farm to another, I will have to review what we are doing in our event calendar next year to make sure the economics stack up.

 

Daisy Jane was born as the last loads of silage entered the clamp, all 6lb 13oz of her. I think Sam and I both know it will mean big changes for us with him having to share his toys and his parents and me having to try and balance work/home pressures and keep two women happy. Both of us know there has been a shift in the balance of power with the new arrival in our home.

 

Last week we received an unwelcome letter from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) stating we were under restrictions due to a 3km radial test so we could not send our calves to Beeston market as normal. This week we find out the letter and restrictions are not correct. This is the second time this year this has happened; it is frustrating the AHVLA paper systems are not up to scratch.

 

TB is increasing locally with cases at all points of the compass close by and there is more further north in Lancashire too. I have come to a point where I believe no-one in power really wants to get a hold of this problem. We hear lots of noises about system improvements from Defra, but the results in England show TB is spreading.

 

The AHVLA is under-resourced and I believe it is facing an uphill struggle to implement 3km radial tests in a timely fashion and do not have the budget to do annual surveillance. Is it not time we had a governance body, free from political interference which was capable of delivering results?

 

The window for culling badgers is now open again for year two of the pilot culls. It will be interesting to see how things progress this year when culling starts and what changes will take place. Will the police facilitate the lawful cull or the protest; could they not identify a single activist damaging the 440 Gloucestershire traps which were vandalised?

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