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  1. Lucy Taylor

Children's Countryside Day teaches children about their food

As many of us buy our food from the supermarket, it would be easy for our children to think it starts out there. Even those who live in the countryside do not always make the connection between farming and the dinner table.

The Children's Countryside Day in Northumberland is designed to fill in the blanks by giving children a day of hands-on farm experience.

Watch the full report below.

Countryside Day shows children farming makes food

Schoolchildren were shown how flour becomes bread, how livestock are bought and sold and even how to pluck chickens at a countryside day designed to show them the origin of their food. Pupils from 40 schools attended the annual fair near Wooler in Northumberland.

Children learn to identify grains - the theme of this year's show was "flour power" Credit: ITV
Pupils were encouraged to pluck chickens and told about the process of preparing the meat Credit: ITV
Children learn to identify different seeds, using them to paint pictures and make their own muesli Credit: ITV


  1. National

Schmallenberg vaccine is result of 'intensive activity'

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has licensed veterinary pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health to provide the "Bovolis SBV" vaccine for animals affected by the Schmallenberg virus.

VMD chief executive Pete Borriello said:

This is the culmination of intensive activity on the part of MSD Animal Health and the VMD to make a safe and effective vaccine available to tackle Schmallenberg.

Without in any way compromising the scientific rigour of our assessment process, we accelerated our assessment so that a vaccine will be available this summer.

This means it will be possible to vaccinate sheep and cattle before most of them become pregnant. This is important as it is during pregnancy when exposure to the virus can cause damage to the foetus.

  1. National

Schmallenberg virus vaccine for UK farmers

A new vaccine could be made available to farmers whose livestock has been affected by the Schmallenberg virus, it was announced today.

The virus, which emerged in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011 and causes severe birth defects and miscarriages, has been identified on more than 1,700 farms across the country.

UK farmers will be the first in the European Union to have access to the Schmallenberg vaccine Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Adult animals infected by virus-carrying midges, thought to have blown across the Channel, gave birth to deformed or stillborn lambs and calves.

UK farmers will be the first in the European Union to have access to the vaccine, which will be used this summer, before most animals become pregnant again.

Cry for help from farmers in crisis

An appeal has been launched to help farmers who are in crisis after the hard winter. In some areas the snow, which stayed for months, means there is not enough feed for the animals.A fund set up by Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services will pay for extra support on farms.

Farmers in Upper Teesdale, like those across the country, are struggling Credit: ITV News
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