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  1. National

Protected foods 'bring £900 million to economy'

Protected food products in the UK contribute an estimated £900 million to the European economy, and the government is keen to encourage more food producers across the UK to apply for the special status. Farming Minister George Eustice said:

Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of. Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable economic contribution both locally and nationally.

We now want to help many more UK food producers who are thinking about making an application for protected name status to get their quality produce fully recognised.

Family carers missing out on £s

Families across the West Country who care for loved ones at home are missing out on millions in benefits according to new research.

The study by Carers UK found that many are facing financial hardship as living costs rise.

They found some families felt there was a lack of support from the benefits system.

Carers reported to be facing hardship as living costs rise

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Marine life conservation

There's a cautious welcome in the West Country to the first designation of marine conservation zones around our coast. They're intended to protect senstive underwater habitats.

But while conservationists say they're pleased the Government is taking action, they'll maintain pressure to ensure more areas are protected.

Our Environment correspondent Duncan Sleightholme reports.

The danger of drug drivers

In just a few weeks time police forces across the West Country will be beginning their annual drink drive campaigns in the run up to Christmas.

But it's not just alcohol that's an issue, ITV's Tonight programme has revealed that no-one knows how many drivers under the influence of drugs are on our roads.

Nigel Turner reports.

Redfarn remembered

Former Westcountry Televison boss Stephen Redfarn will be remembered at a special service today in Plymouth.

He played a major part in clinching an £85million deal to sell the company in the late 90s.

Mr Redfarn died at the age of 70 in August following a short illness.

Stephen Redfarn Credit: ITV

Boost to house sales

House sales in the South West have hit a five year high. According to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the number of homes sold in the region is at the highest level since February 2008.

And from today any property worth up to £600,000 could be eligible for the government's Help to Buy scheme.

Somerset Correspondent, David Woodland reports

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South West housing market may be recovering

Sales of homes may be rising in our region. Credit: Press Association

There are signs the South West housing market is continuing to recover.

According to a survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the number of homes sold in the South West is at the highest level since February 2008, and it is higher than than the UK as a whole.

Prices also continued to rise, with nearly half of people reporting an increase. The report says predictions for the future are upbeat.

  1. Richard Lawrence

Full report: Farmers demand more action on bovine TB

The National Farmers Union says the latest figures for outbreaks of bovine TB show the disease is still rife and spreading across the region. More than seventeen thousand cattle in the West Country have been slaughtered in the past year.

Earlier this month the Government revealed its plans to help eradicate the disease over 25 years. But many famers says that is too long and more badger culls will have to take place to eliminate the disease.

Badger cull suggested to prevent rise of bovine TB

Some farmers have been demanding a badger cull. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Farmers are calling for more direct action to control bovine TB.

The latest figures show only a slight decrease in the number of outbreaks in the West Country over the past twelve months.

The government has put forward proposals to eradicate the disease over twenty five years, but some farmers believe stepping up the badger culls is the most realistic solution.

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