My wife came in almost in tears.

Our next door neighbour, a widow of 92, rents her land to a lass in the village, doctor's daughter who has kept sheep for 18 years. She has sold her flock. She could not take it any more. Now we are forbidden to bury any casualty lambs - we can't even bury a chicken at the end of its life, it was all too much for her. This kind of thing kills smallholding - and the Canadians now face the same anti BSE restrictions.

The funny thing was that the lass with the sheep used it as a discreet opportunity to check on the well-being of a proud old lady living in a remote farmhouse. As are my wife's frequent calls with a cabbage or a pint of Jersey milk.