Farming set for shake-up

 The cold winds blowing through British farming are not helping anyone

A report that could revolutionise the face of farming in England is to be
published on Tuesday.

Countryside 'open for business'

 Events across the UK will try to woo tourists

The countryside is open for business according to a national campaign aimed
at attracting visitors back, in the wake of the foot-and-mouth crisis.
Organisations including the National Trust and the National Farmers' Union
are among those co-ordinating efforts to woo back tourists now the UK is
free of the disease.

Palace reception for farm disease victims

 The Prince spoke to farmers in Brecon on Monday

Twenty-five people from Wales who were severely affected by foot-and-mouth
disease are due at a reception hosted by the Prince of Wales at St James's
Palace in London on Tuesday.

Farmer in court over cruelty to cattle

Paul Rogers, prosecuting for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals (RSPCA), said the field at Tostock Road was waterlogged and
poached when visited by an inspector on March 1 last year.

He added that at the time, foot-and-mouth restrictions meant no cattle could
be moved, but this could not be used as an excuse for the way the animals
were managed.,2763,641098,00.html

vCJD may have been passed on in blood

Twenty-two people who unknowingly received blood donations from victims of
the human form of BSE are to be told that they may have been infected with
the fatal disease.
Blood services have always been aware of their identity but took the
decision not to inform them unless they tried to give blood themselves
because there is no test, no cure and no treatment for the condition.

But the policy is to change because of the potential public health dangers
if those who have received the blood went on to have surgery, donate organs
or need serious dental treatment

Food report to call for 'green licence for farmers'

An official report outlining the future of farming and food production in
the UK will be published today.

Among the proposals expected to be included in Sir Donald Curry's new
blueprint for agriculture is a scheme forcing farmers to be kinder to the

To qualify for Government subsidies in future, they would be required to
have a "green licence" guaranteeing they will work the land in an
environmentally friendly way.

Britain's farmers could soon be paid more for looking after the countryside
than producing food under radical new plans about to be discussed.

An independent report, commissioned in the wake of the foot-and-mouth
crisis, calls for a shift in the allocation of subsidies and more incentives
for environmentally friendly farming.

Among the proposals expected to be included in Sir Donald Curry's new
blueprint for agriculture is a scheme forcing farmers to be kinder to the


Astrid Lindgren

Author of the Pippi Longstocking books whose campaigning gave every Swedish
pig the right to a happy life

Mike Meredith -  please note above of special interest to you

Disease control
Trials of foot-and-mouth outbreaks prove North America is not ready for

Margaret Munro
National Post

Ian Hodgson, Reuters

Deadly microbes that infect animal herds have the potential to do much more
than terrorize a continent, scientists say. The economic impact would be

  A pig farmer in southern Texas decides to cut costs by feeding his animals
scraps from a ship that has just come into port. Within hours, the pigs
become sick. The farmer, fearing the animals will soon get worse, decides to
cut his losses. He loads up the pigs and takes them to market.

In the scenario, played out in a recent international emergency preparedness
exercise, the pigs have been infected with the virus for foot-and-mouth
disease from the scrap. By the time the animals get to market they are like
viral factories, spewing invisible and highly contagious viruses and quickly
infecting all the other animals passing through the market.

Infected animals are shipped to Canada, Mexico and 17 states before anyone
realizes something is amiss.

If the incident were to happen in real life, authorities say it would be an
international disaster. Millions of animals across the continent would have
to be slaughtered. The piles of burning carcasses would dwarf those seen in
England during the recent U.K. foot-and-mouth outbreak because North
American herds are so much larger. And the impact on the economy would be
crippling, say animal disease specialists, as exports of animal products
would be banned.

Regards Pat Gardiner