NSA Latest Update 23rd May 14

By Suffolk Sheep Society 27th May, 2014

Weekly update from NSA

NSA Members' Weekly Email Update
Friday 23rd May 2014

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ONE WEEK LEFT TO GET IN NSA FREE PRIZE DRAW: The third of six draws to win a 3in1 Advantage Feeder (pictured) closes on Friday 30th May, so NSA members have just 

one week to qualify if they haven’t already. The giveaway is part of NSA’s 2014 membership recruitment campaign so new members automatically qualify and existing members get one entry for every new member they recommend. There is no limit to the number of entries per person (the more people you recommend the more entries you get!) and if you’re not successful this time your name will remain in the hat for the three other draws being held this year. Find membership application forms, more information and terms and conditions at www.nationalsheep.org.uk/draw, or go to pages 14 and 15 in the May/June edition of Sheep Farmer magazine.
CORRECT LINK: Apologies to anyone who tried to access the sheep dialect survey via last week’s NSA Weekly Email Update as we provided the wrong website address. The correct address is www.surveymonkey.com/s/hillfarmingterms. NSA is promoting the survey in support of the Foundation for Common Land’s project documenting all the regional variations for sheep terminology that exist in different areas. The information will be used to inform organisations who engage with farmers (particularly in the uplands) of particular regional language. This initial survey is a pilot for England, with the intention to invite inputs from Scotland and Wales to extend coverage across the hills and uplands of Britain.
NSA REGIONAL CHAIRMAN HOSTS SHEEP VET SOCIETY: The Sheep Vet Society held their spring conference near Weston Super Mare from Monday to Wednesday this week (19th-21st May) attracting just over 100 delegates, mainly practicing vets. On the second day they visited NSA Marches Region Chairman Kevin Harrison near Bath for a farm tour and there were many positive comments that followed (from both delegates and Kevin). Phil Stocker attended part of the conference. He reports: “It really does give you confidence when you see the number of enthusiastic vets attending a specialist conference like this and keen to be part of the Sheep Vet Society.  The age range also suggests there is no shortage of new entrants into this strand of our industry and sheep farmers should feel confident that we have a society here in the UK (SVS) that is world renowned for its involvement in sheep health and disease research and practical application. I would encourage all NSA sheep farming members to ask their vet if they are part of SVS – by doing so they will undoubtedly provide an improved service for you, and together we can continue to drive the health and productivity of our sheep in the right direction.”
NSA DISCUSSES CAP REFORM WITH LOCHHEAD: The end of last week saw NSA office holders meet with Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead to discuss CAP reform, including payment regions and voluntary coupled support. Scotland is looking at splitting payment regions into arable, temporary grazing and rough grazing and in last week’s meeting NSA emphasised the need for area payments to be set high enough to give long term support and stability to sheep farmers across Scotland, allowing them to invest in the future. The concern is that the area payment for rate for rough grazing will not do that. George Milne, NSA Scotland Regional Development Officer, says: “Splitting the rough grazing region into two was discussed, which is something representatives felt there was a requirement to see. One suggestion was to look at Pillar Two funding and see if some form of top-up could be administered to add additional support to those with higher stocking densities. Discussions around a voluntary coupled scheme also took place, and while this may be an option, it is certainly not a solution and comes with a vast amount of conditions and red tape. It is felt by the majority of NSA Scottish Region Board that this is not the best way forward for the sheep industry, with the use of a better targeted area payments strongly supported instead.” Discussion on all elements of CAP reform will continue into next week, prior to the Cabinet Secretary make his announcement.
NEW LAYOUT SHEEP CENTRE WORKS WELL AT BALMORAL: Edward Adamson, NSA Northern Ireland  Regional Development Officer, reports that good weather saw an

increase in visitors to Balmoral Show last week (14th-16th May). NSA provided a sheep centre (as it does at the Royal Highland and Royal Welsh) – a marquee accommodating a NSA presence, breed societies and commercial trade stands. Edward reports: “Most visitors were content, as they’d had a good lambing and grass growth was good. Our change of layout on the NSA stand got a favourable reaction and exhibitors were pleased. Most questions at our stand involved CAP reform, the expected outcomes and decisions still to be made. The election on 22nd May brought out a not unexpected increased number of politicians but little commitment from them!”
GOOD NEWS ON OPEN ACCESS IN WALES: The Welsh Government announced on Wednesday (20th May) that planned legislation granting open access to land in Wales had been delayed pending further consultation. While it is important to encourage people to enjoy the countryside in all areas of the UK, NSA and others were hugely concerned that the Welsh Government’s plans were not sensitive enough to farmers and others who manage the land. A statement by John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, which includes reference to more consultation before any legislation is drafted, can be read here.
MOVEMENT ON SCOTTISH 13-DAY STANDSTILL? While England and Wales are looking to assess their six-day standstill and Northern Ireland no long has a standstill period in disease ‘peacetime’, Scotland still has a 13-day standstill requirement. This was raised at the Animal Health and Welfare Stakeholder Group meeting this week and a request made to discuss in detail the pros and cons of moving to a shorter timescale, bearing in mind Scotland’s robust tractability system. It was agreed that a meeting would be set up in the near future, inviting all interested parties to fully investigate the current situation.
FIGHTING RURAL CRIME: Since writing to all police forces in the UK to raise the profile of sheep worrying by dogs, NSA has been discussing all elements of rural crime in recent weeks. This included Caitlin Peck, NSA Communications Officer, attending the Herefordshire Rural Crime Conference yesterday (Thursday 22nd May) when key members of the West Mercia force called for the police and the public to work together to tackle rural crime. Discussion at the meeting, attended by farmers and industry representatives, focused on a drive to increase trust and co-operation, with Mayor Patrick Darling (High Sheriff of Herefordshire), David Shaw (Chief Constable of West Mercia Police) and Bill Longmore (Police and Crime Commissioner) among those who appealed for members of the rural community to help the police act on rural crime by reporting incidents and sharing information. There were also pledges of a renewed effort among police forces in the area to prioritise rural incidents. Mr Shaw said: "Today's the start of a very significant change. I can't honestly say we've given some of you the focus you deserve. We need to form what is in the true sense a partnership." Crime Risk Adviser Charles Naylor spoke about the 'Stop That Thief' scheme in Kingham, which has seen farmers fit gates and doors with alarms that are triggered when a potential criminal approaches, intended to scare burglars before they can begin a break in. The project has been a success in Kingham and will now be rolled out across Herefordshire; farmers in that area should contact their local police to express an interest. 


NSA WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATE ADVERT (more content below):-


REMINDER 1: TAIL DOCKING: With the show and sale season approaching it is a time when many of our sheep are on view. It may be a little late in that docking will already have been done, but NSA would like to remind all sheep farmers of the legal requirements of docking sheep. The Welfare of Livestock (Prohibited Operations) Regulations 1982, as amended by the Welfare of Livestock (Prohibited Operations) (Amendment) Regulations 1987, prohibits tail docking of sheep unless sufficient tail is retained to cover the vulva in the case of female sheep and the anus in the case of male sheep. 
REMINDER 2: WITHDRAWAL PERIODS The FSA routinely tests for residues of medicines and parasite treatments to ensure food safety. This relates to stated withdrawal periods being properly met and the NSA encourages all sheep farmers for the sake of confidence and trust in our product to adhere closely to withdrawal periods and to ensure that medicine books and flock registers are up to date. 
ASULAM NOW ON SALE FOR EMERGENCY USE FROM JULY: The Bracken Control Group reports that, as anticipated, asulam has been granted an Emergency Authorisation for bracken control in 2014. The Emergency Authorisation has two periods – the one permits purchase and storage of asulam products between Monday 19th May and Monday 15th September, and the other permits application between Tuesday 1st July and Friday 31st October. It is illegal to apply or store asulam outside those dates. There are rules about methods of application (e.g. weed wipers, drift sprayers and spot applicators are not authorised) and information about this, plus a list of contractors, can be found at www.brackencontrol.co.uk.
GET SHEEP MARKET PRICES ON NEW EBLEX APP: Eblex has launched a new mobile app providing the latest market prices and trends along with access to the most popular areas of the Eblex website. Users will be able to view events, news, localised weather reports and other tools and resources on their mobile phone. James Wilde of Eblex says: “The app obviously needs wi-fi or mobile data connectivity to download and update but, importantly, it means latest saved data can be accessed even when off-line, which is an advantage in more rural areas where coverage can be patchy at best. It means producers, processors and other industry stakeholders can access key services without waiting until they are in front of a computer screen.” The Eblex Mobile app is available for free on both Apple and Android platforms. To find it, visit Apple’s App Store or Google Play and search for Eblex.
NEW SHEEPDOG TRIAL AT NSA SOUTH SHEEP: Visitors to NSA South Sheep 2014 on Saturday 28th June will be treated to a new sheepdog trial, introduced for the first time at this year’s event. The competition, which will take place in a picturesque valley setting on the event site, is being organised by the Sussex Sheep Dog Society and will feature Open and Novice classes. Anyone wishing to enter should send their details, including name, address, telephone number and email, to John Marsh, West End Farm, Gatehouse Lane, Goddards Green, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9LE, 01444 246962 or westend@talktalk.net. Find out more about the sheepdog trial and other events at NSA South Sheep 2014 here. AND REMEMBER THERE IS ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT TO ENTER THE NSA SOUTH SHEEP PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION - CLICK HERE TO ENTERFOR DETAILS.
SIX SHEARING COURSES IN NI IN JUNE: CAFRE and BWMB are running a series of shearing courses across Northern Ireland in June, aimed at everyone from the complete novice to the competition/contract shearer. The courses are two days each (9.30am-4.20pm each day) and will cover every aspect of shearing, from setting up equipment and pens to packing and presenting the fleece for sale. Course locations are Claudy (6th/7th June), Saintfield (10th/11th), Draperstown (13th/14th), Kilcoo (17th/18th), Ballycastle (20th/21st) and Glenwherry (24th/25th). Booking is compulsory – contact CAFRE’s industry training administration team at Greenmount Campus on 02894 426873 or industry.trainingadmin@dardni.gov.uk.
THREE FARM WALKS FOCUSING ON LAMB GROWTH RATES: The next step in QMS’s project to drive efficiency in the lamb supply chain is a series of free farm walks organised by the Borders, South West and Central lamb supply chain groups. All three farm walks will focus on maximising lamb growth rates in early season through good grazing and flock health management, plus optimal weights for selling lambs. The first walk is hosted by Graham Lofthouse, Bankhouse, Stow (27th May), then Colin Mair,  Montgomerieston, Dalrymple, Ayrshire  (28th May), and the James Hutton Institute farm, Hartwood, Shotts (10th June). Register your attendance with Kirsty at QMS on 01314 724040 or info@qmscotland.co.uk.
FOCUS FARM EVENTS TO LEAD EBLEX HEALTH AND WELFARE CAMPAIGN: Eblex is creating a network of 19 sheep focus farms across England as part of a campaign addressing health and welfare issues. The farms will play host to a series of events during the 12-month project, starting with a programme of summer meetings focusing on lameness and the five-point lameness management plan. Both upland and lowland farms have been selected. The first focus farm meetings will be held in Callington, Cornwall, on 28th May and Dorchester, Dorset, on 5th June. As well as the activity on the focus farms, Eblex will be running a number of sheep health workshops designed to help farmers focus on issues on their own farms. These sessions will cover health planning, lameness, infertility and scab. See Eblex’s events schedule here.
ENTRIES OPEN FOR BRITISH FARMING AWARDS: Entries are now open for Farmers Guardian’s ‘British Farming Awards’, which recognise creative thinking and progress in agriculture. If you know someone who has made a change or innovation in their sheep farming business, why not nominate them for Sheep Innovator of the Year? You can even nominate yourself! There are 11 categories in total, including Farming Partnership of the Year, Family Farming Business of the Year and Farmers Guardian’s Farming Hero. Entries close on 31st July. Find out more here.
JOINT WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT WANTED: Pearly Sanjita Garg and Sophie Turrell (both 17) are looking for a two-week placement on a sheep farm anywhere in the UK, ideally in mid-July. Both are A-level students looing to study veterinary science and have experience working with animals, including the two of them completing a lambing course. They would like to be placed together and are keen to take on any sort of farm work, saying they are enthusiastic and keen to learn. They are based in Woodford Green, Essex, so would require accommodation if travelling any distance. You can contact the pair on pearly.s.garg@hotmail.co.uk or 07825 017362.

NSA WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATE ADVERT (diary of events below):-



  • MONDAY 26TH MAY: NSA NI SHEEPDOG SALE:Held in conjunction with Norbrook Closamectin in Ballymena Market. Click here for details.
  • WEDNESDAY 28TH MAY: NSA CENTRAL REGION COMMITTEE MEETING: To be held at the Travellers, Brough, in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 9HG (which is at the intersection between the A6187 and the B6049) at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start. Meeting open to all NSA Central Region members, not just committee members; click here for an agenda.
  • SHEEP EVENT: WEDNESDAY 4TH JUNE 2014: NSA SCOT SHEEP: At the Berwickshire farm of Quixwood, Grantshouse, courtesy of the Macfarlane family. Click here for hogg show and sale entry forms and contact Euan Emslie for more information on 01430 441870 or euan@appliedremedies.co.uk.
  • SATURDAY 7TH JUNE: NSA MARCHES REGION YOUNG SHEPHERD OF THE YEAR COMPETITION AND OPEN DAY: 11am-4.30pm at Upleadon Court, Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1EG, by kind invitation of Henry and Carol Dunn and family. Young Shepherd of the Year open to competitors aged 26 and under; open day open to all! Click here for more information and competition entry forms.
  • MONDAY 9TH JUNE: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING:7pm at the Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members.
  • WEDNESDAY 11TH JUNE: NSA EASTERN REGION FARM WALK: At Ickworth Park, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, by invitation of Paul Seabrook.
  • THURSDAY 19TH JUNE - SUNDAY 22ND JUNE: NSA SHEEP CENTRE AT THE ROYAL HIGHLAND SHOW: Come and see us at the show and visit the Sheep Centre marquee packed full of breed society and trade stands. To exhibit contact Euan Emslie on 01430 441870 or euan@appliedremedies.co.uk.
  • SHEEP EVENT: SATURDAY 28TH JUNE: NSA SOUTH SHEEP: Blackcap Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, by kind permission of Tony Monnington and family. Full details at www.southsheep.org.uk; book onto a bus trip from your local market with Bob Blanden on 01666 860308 or bob@nationalsheep.org.uk.
  • MONDAY 21ST JULY – THURSDAY 24TH JULY: NSA SHEEP CENTRE AT THE ROYAL WELSH SHOW: Come and see us at the show and visit the Sheep Centre packed full of breed society and trade stands. To exhibit contact Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helen@nationalsheep.org.uk.
  • TUESDAY 8TH JULY: NSA SOUTH WEST FARM WALK: 3pm at North Wyke Research Farm, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB.
  • SHEEP EVENT:WEDNESDAY 30TH JULY 2014:NSA SHEEP EVENT: The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. Full details at www.sheepevent.org.uk and enquires to Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helen@nationalsheep.org.uk.
  • MONDAY 4TH AUGUST: NSA WALES & BORDER EARLY RAM SALE: Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or jane@nsaramsales.co.uk.
  • WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST: NSA SOUTH WEST REGION RAM SALE: Exeter Livestock Centre. Contact Sue Martyn on 01409 271385, 07967 512660 or suem@nationalsheep.org.uk.
  • FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE:Rugby Farmers Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carroll@ceressolutions.co.uk.
  • MONDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING:7pm at the Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members.
  • FRIDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: Melton Mowbray Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carroll@ceressolutions.co.uk.
  • MONDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER: NSA WALES & BORDER MAIN RAM SALE: Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or jane@nsaramsales.co.uk.
  • WEDNESDAY 26TH NOVEMBER: SHEEP HEALTH AND WELFARE CONFERENCE: At Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Yarnfield, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL. Booking accepted soon at www.nationalsheep.org.uk/shawg.
  • MONDAY 8TH DECEMBER: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING:7pm at the Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members.


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