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  1. Joe Pike

Former NFU leaders back 'Yes' vote

What would independence mean for farmers in the South of the country? Today four former Presidents of the National Farmers Union of Scotland claimed a yes vote would give rural Scotland a more powerful voice in Europe. But other farming leaders warned access to crucial markets south of the border could be made much more difficult. Joe Pike reports.

'Farming is the most dangerous occupation in Britain'

NFU Mutual says it's all to aware of the impacts of farm-related deaths and serious injuries on families and the wider farming community.

It believes these incident can be prevented and significantly reduced.

"The establishment of the Scotland Farm Safety Partnership provides a focus for organisations involved in agriculture to work together and use their combined skills and experience to produce a less dangerous working environment.

"Whilst other industries – including construction – have seen accidents fall sharply in recent years, the number of people killed and injured on our farms has remained high and farming is now the most dangerous occupation in GB."

– Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Scotland


New campaign hopes to reduce farm deaths

A campaign has been launched to reduce the number of farming deaths and serious injuries across Scotland.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in the past decade a nearly 80 people have died on farms across Scotland and significantly more have been badly injured as a result of farming activities.

  • 13 people have died by falling from a height
  • Nine have been killed in incidents involving livestock
  • There have been 26 deaths due to vehicles overturning
  • On six occasions people have died while working with machinery or equipment

It's a scheme being run by NFU Scotland, NFU Mutual, HSE and the Scotttish Government and outlines the four most common dangers on farms:

  • Falls
  • Animals
  • Transport
  • Equipment

The campaign, which launches at the Black Isle Show in the Highlands today, Thursday 7 August, urges farmers not to leave their safety to FATE.

Twin lambs for sheep found in snow drift

Galloway farmer Stuart Mactier discovered this sheep in a snow drift last year. This year the sheep has twin lambs.

Sheep found alive after 11 days in a snow drift last year Credit: Stuart Mactier

For nearly two weeks farmers dug sheep out of snow drifts after heavy snowfall last spring.

Farmers across the region lost animals in the snow but this sheep managed to survive and made a full recovery.


Farmers call for badger cull after TB announcement

Farmers have been talking of their fears, after news that the latest outbreak of Cattle TB may have started on a farm in West Cumbria.

Many beef and dairy farmers are now openly calling for a cull of badgers in our region.

100 dairy cows from a farm near Ravenglass were sold at auction in February, leading to the possible contamination of herds across the country.

Matthew Taylor reports

Cumbrian cattle linked with TB outbreak

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) have confirmed that a number of TB cases found in cattle across Great Britain are linked to a Cumbrian farm.

“We are aware of a number of TB positive cattle cases across GB, linked to the sale of dairy cattle from a herd in Cumbria at the end of February. AHVLA has taken robust and rapid action to identify, isolate and test all animals originating from this herd to minimise the spread of disease.

“The herd of origin in Cumbria has been placed under movement restrictions and TB testing of neighbouring holdings within a three kilometre radius is underway.

“Investigations are at an early stage and it would be premature to speculate on the origin of infection in the herd in Cumbria."

– Spokesman, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
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