Farmers say they're sceptical about a report from the University of Exeter linking intensive farming to a rise in TB in cattle.
The study shows that herds of more than a 150 strong are 50% more likely to suffer an outbreak of the disease. Using silage as feed is also said to increase the risk.
The Deputy President of the National Farmers Union, Minette Batters, was at the Beef South West event in Exeter. ITV News West Country presenter Ian Axton asked her what she thought of the report:
Farmers who try to get too much from their land and livestock have been linked to an increased risk of bovine TB.
The research from Exeter University found:
- Farms with herds of 150 cattle or more - were 50% more likely to suffer an outbreak, than those with herds of 50 or fewer.
- For every 10 hectares of maize grown - a favourite food of badgers - the TB risk increased by 20%
- And the feeding of silage was linked with doubling the TB risk among dairy and beef cattle.
Jacquie Bird reports:
A study by the University of Exeter has found there is a higher risk of bovine TB with intensive farming practices such as large herds.
The research found farms with herds of 150 cattle or more were 50 per cent more likely to suffer a bovine TB outbreak than those with herds of 50 or fewer.
The risks also increased with maize growth, fewer hedgerows and the use of silage.
South West Water has been fined more than £200,000 for polluting the River Plym in Devon.
The Exeter based company admitted five counts relating to incidents from the Camels Head Plant. They all occurred in 2013.
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Plans to restore a Cornish beauty spot has been backed with millions of pounds worth of lottery money.
The Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration project aims to carry out extensive conservation work in the area.
They also want to re-examine the valley's industrial and natural heritage to underpin a programme of activities to engage new visitors, improve accessibility and provide training and volunteering opportunities for people living locally.
Now, the project is one step closer. A joint bid from Cornwall Council and Cornwall Heritage Trust for the Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration project has received earmarked funding of £3,473,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
What does 'earmarked funding mean'?
Earmarked funding means the outline proposals for the project met initial criteria for funding and the Heritage Lottery Fund believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money.
The project now has 2 years to submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award.
Why is the money important?
The project will restore much of the industrial heritage within the valley including the iconic Treffry Viaduct, which is currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
A separately funded hydroelectric turbine, powered by water from the repaired Victorian leats in the valley, will fund the ongoing conservation and continue the water powered theme of the area.
The valley's Carmears tramway also has some of the best surviving lengths of early 19th century tramway rails in the UK.
This is wonderful news and ensures the future heritage of the Treffry Viaduct and long-term sustainability of the Luxulyan Valley as a whole”
To be given the funding green light by the Heritage Lottery Fund is a major boost. It will allow the Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration project to work on plans to not only conserve our heritage, but to also share the story so that more people can appreciate the amazing historical significance of the valley.
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Dairy farmers are to lose an average of almost 3p per litre in the next year, according to a new report.
One of the reasons is lower feed prices. It comes after a spate of protest across the West by farmers during the summer.
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