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Cumbrian farmers told it is unknown how bovine TB has spread

Farmers are calling for more action Credit: PA

Government experts have told Cumbrian farmers that they don't yet know how bovine TB has spread in 16 out of 20 cases.

At a meeting last night they said there's more testing to be done, but at the moment they don't believe badgers are responsible for the initial infection.

Experts also said they needed more information before they decide if badgers are to be culled, as only been three badgers have tested positive, from around 12 tested. They added that culling can cause badgers to move, making the spread of the disease worse. For these reasons badgers will not be culled at the moment.

Instead farmers are encouraged to practice good biosecurity, for instance using fences to keep their cattle away from badger areas, and seal buildings with food as well as adhering to cattle movement restrictions.

“A number of bTB breakdowns in cattle herds have been identified in east Cumbria. APHA has carried out a thorough investigation, which found evidence the disease is present in badgers in the area. We are working closely with farmers and others affected to assess the extent of disease in the badger population. Additional cattle controls are in place and further action will depend on the results of our surveillance. Farmers in the area should continue to practice good biosecurity to minimise the risk of disease spreading to their farms.”

– An Animal and Plant Health Agency spokesperson

But farmers are calling for more action. They want to see more active testing on badgers so the experts and farmers can be better informed of what's going on and how to stop it.

Farmers gather in Dumfries to protest over milk prices

Farmers protesting in Dumfries Credit: ITV

More than fifty farmers from the Dumfries area have been protesting outside a local supermarket over milk prices.

This comes after a string of protests across the country over the price farmers are paid for their milk.

The price of milk has fallen by around a third in the last year, putting a growing number of dairy farmers out of business.

Some blame supermarkets for refusing to pay a fair price for the milk.

A protester brought along a cow as the dispute over milk prices continues Credit: ITV


Protesters blockade repossessed farm

Protesters outside the farm near Appleby Credit: ITV Border

Protesters have blockaded a farm near Appleby to prevent prospective buyers visiting the property, which was recently repossessed.

Chris Atkinson lost Birks Farm after defaulting on loan repayments.

A judge ordered the property to be repossessed.

The loan company is now selling the farm - but supporters of Mr Atkinson turned out in force today to give him their backing.

Mr Atkinson says he's seeking a high court injunction to prevent the sale.

Lawyers acting for UK Acorn Finance sent this statement:

The allegations made by Mr Atkinson in respect of the lending and against both UKAF and Mr Phillips personally have been litigated unsuccessfully by him and an order for possession of the property at Birks Farm was made in UKAF’s favour in proceedings in the Carlisle County Court in January 2014. Whilst Mr Atkinson lodged an application for permission to appeal the order, he chose to withdraw his appeal in June 2014.

– Spokesperson on behalf of UK Acorn Finance Limited

Borders farmers targetted by bogus callers

Farmers in the Scottish Borders are being warned about bogus callers posing as police.

Two farmers from near Selkirk were called by fraudsters claiming to be the police and asking for a donation to charity.

The callers said they were working on behalf of a juvenile crime against agricultural workers charity, and asked for donations starting at £200.

Police Scotland are asking farmers to be wary of these scams.

Fraudsters posing as police target Borders' farmers

Fraudsters posing as police officers have been targeting farmers in the Scottish Borders.

The criminals have been calling farmers, claiming to be police officers and pleading for donations to a bogus charity.

Two farmers from the Selkirkshire area have been contacted by a caller claiming to be from Police Scotland and asking them to support a campaign fighting juvenile crime against agricultural workers.

The caller asked for a three-figure sum starting at £200 and then lowered it to what the farmer was willing to pay.

Detectives are urging farmers in the Scottish Borders to remain vigilant and not to give any money to someone pretending to be a police officer.


  1. Hannah McNulty

Farmers rally round to help those hit by flooding

The flooding in the south of England is a story that's dominated the headlines for weeks now. While the attention is often on people and their homes, a story less often reported is the impact it has on the farming community.

Cumbria and southern Scotland has had its own share of flooding problems and farming is a major part of our industry. Our Correspondent Hannah McNulty has been speaking to those trying to help.

If you want more information about the Eden Valley Young Farmers collection then email

Farming community rallies round to help those hit by flooding

The farming community in Cumbria and southern Scotland are collecting supplies for famers in the south of England hit by flooding. It's part of a national appeal to help those in the Somerset and surrounding areas who have suffered widespread damage to their land and livelihood.

Lauderdale Hunt in the Borders is one of those taking part in the collection of food and supplies. Timothy Coulson is Master and Huntsman:

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