It seems that I am going to be stuck with…

August 4, 2007 in webcams by MrFarmer

It seems that I am going to be stuck with the rest of the Sheep for a bit longer that I thought. The intention was to take the Portland Sheep to a special Rare Breeds Sale in our local Livestock Market next Saturday. The outbreak of foot and mouth disease has put a stop to that. I should have taken them to market when I sent the five Ewes and eighteen Lambs a couple of weeks back. I had already decided to try to keep the five friendly hand reared Texel Ewes, our holiday guests do like to see the Lambs. We had meant to fence of around the lakes last week, so that the Texel Ewes could graze around them. We will have to make it our first job next week. There is a lot of grass around the lakes that will keep them going for a while.

How widespread the foot and mouth breakout is we can only wait and see, but for sure it will not be isolated to the one farm that has been found to have it. Where does it come from. I remember that a case was made that it could be imported into this country from Africa and Asia by illegal imports of meat that is infected with the virus, carried through customs by airline passengers for their own use. I also remember that these illegal imports would be stopped. What ever turns out to be the cause it is going to cost everyone an awful lot of money. The huge compensation that was given for slaughtered animals in 2001 encouraged a few unscrupulous farmer to deliberately import the disease to their farms to get the compensation. The money handed out was scandalous. Livestock valuers in many cases were valuing livestock at triple their true value. Vast amounts of money was allowed to clean farm buildings. When I say vast, one payment was more than a farms was worth. Slaughterhouses were paid mega amounts. w I should reckon that a very high portion of the eight billion pounds that it cost on the last outbreak, was wasted. I think that the compensation was drastically lowered for any future out breaks.

Fortunately foot and mouth disease did not affect our farm. Although it came quite close, and we only had six Wild boar that would have been at risk. Now we only have twenty Sheep that would be affected, if the disease came to Denbury.

One thing that I kept on hearing on the television today is that it should not close the countryside down. Where is the logic in that. If this outbreak is widespread, to some degree it must. There is a nationwide ban on the movement of livestock, but the public should be allowed to use footpaths that go through farms. Some of the people may have yesterday walked a footpath that passes through a farm that has the disease, but has only been diagnosed today. On the last outbreak we were allowed to close a footpath weeks after the start of the virus. The same mistakes will be made again. Lets hope this outbreak can be contained.