Following a dramatic rise in the number of incidents of sheep rustling in the region over the last fortnight, here are a few guidelines in keeping a flock safe from thieves.
Advice to farmers:
- ensure that your animals are tagged
- boundaries and gates should be kept in good order and wherever possible locked
- put something heavy in front of gates to make life harder for thieves
- don’t leave trailers or anything that can be used to steal/transport the sheep
- don’t leave keys in vehicles, even if they are in your yard
- if you are keeping or rearing animals in barns or out-buildings, make sure that gates and doors are locked
Farmers blocked the Tesco distribution centre at Avonmouth late last night - in the ongoing battle over falling dairy prices. The Farmers for Action group organised the protest in the latest of demonstrations over money.
The North Devon Show at Umberleigh has always been an opportunity for the public to really get involved with the countryside.
But this year, farmers at the show have issued a warning about their future prospects, as milk prices continue to plummet in supermarkets.
One farmer told ITV News West Country that he doesn't know if he'll still be in the industry this time next year.
Jacquie Bird reports.
Farmers from across the region will be taking part in a national protest tonight.
They say they will be taking peaceful action in Bridgwater and Yeovil.
The farmers are angry about the price supermarkets pay for their milk, which they say is not enough to live by.
They say they're losing money on every litre they produce.
Farmers in Devon have issued a grim warning about their future prospects as plummeting prices hit both dairy and meat producers.
The amount farmers are paid for their milk has dropped to 24 pence a litre. That's down from 34 pence a litre 18 months ago.
And the price they get for lamb has fallen by 10 pence a kilo in the last year.
Falling prices have led to calls for action today at the North Devon show.
A group of farmers have targeted a supermarket in Bideford in protest over milk prices.
A video, posted online, shows protestors removing all the milk from the shelves at Morrison's in the town.
It's the second video posted online in a matter of days, targeting Morrison's.
Over the weekend a number of supermarkets across Bristol were targeted, including one in Yate.
A group of farmers have targeted supermarkets across the West Country to protest over milk prices.
A video, posted online, shows the protestors removing all the milk from the shelves at Morrison's before abandoning the full trolleys at the check-outs. It's part of a protest over the unfair drop in milk prices.
A flower breeder from Falmouth says a cold and dry January means his daffodil crop has failed to flower in time for the first days of spring.
Ron Scamp,72, who has the world's largest collection of novelty daffodil varieties with 2,700 different types, says it is a marked contrast from last year where he had more than 250 varieties in full bloom. This year he has only about 10.
Commercial growers would normally expect their fields to be full of yellow blooms when 'meteorological spring' began on March 1st. Daffodil farmers believe the recent cold weather will delay the burst of colour by up to two weeks.
More than two thirds of farmers are being affected by fly-tipping, according to new research from the NFU.
The union is encouraging people to dispose of their rubbish more responsibly. Last year there was a case of fly tipping every 44 seconds.
The cost to clean up the waste on farmland was around £47 million.
Conservation groups and farmers in the West Country have sent a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to do all he can to encourage the European Parliament to continue offering them environmental grants.
They're used by many of our farmers to look after the countryside and wildlife, and many say their very survival depends on getting them. Our reporter John Andrews went to meet one man who relies heavily on the current grants on offer.