Rural Matters

Human milk from cows - what next?

4th AprilPosted by Louise Taylor

A report in the Farmer's Guardian says that scientists in China have created genetically modified cattle that produce the equivalent of 'human' milk.  The scientists successfully introduced human genes into 300 dairy cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk.

The scientists behind the research believe milk from herds of GM cows could provide an alternative to human breast milk and formula milk for babies, which is often criticised as being an inferior...

Local cheeses in Tesco.

14th MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

Two local cheese manufacturers have secured deals with Tesco to well new cheese.

Cheshire-based Joseph Heler Cheese has launched three of its cheeses into Tesco stores nationwide including family packs of Red leicester and Double Gloucester and a lighter style Double Gloucester which they say has the same texture and flavour of full fat Double Gloucester but with 30% less fat content.

Shropshire-based Belton Cheese has secured a listing to supply Tesco with three liines which...

Scientists develop 'heart healthy' crops.

14th MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

The Farmers Guardian reports today that scientists at Aberystwyth Universtiy are developing new varieties of oats which could help lessen the danger of heart disease.

The claim is that a chemical called beta glucan helps reduce the danger of heart disease and is found in oats, a crop that can grow successfully in poorer agricultural land and wetter climates such as West Wales.

Research has shown that the chemical can help trap cholesterol and stop it from entering the...

CLA advises Government on how to help rural economy.

8th MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has told the Government that it must cut red tape in order to help the rural economy survive.

The CLA, whose 35,000 members run more than 250 types of rural businesses, said David Cameron's renewed commitment to cutting red tape and supporting business, must include measures to avoid excessive regulation in rural areas.

William Worsley, CLA President, said: " We have been invovled with Richard...

Wildlife Trust in Gloucestershire set to vaccinate badgers.

7th MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

Reports in the Farmers Guardian say that Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is to embark on a programme of badger vaccination in its nature reserves this summer. 

The latest TB statistics show nearly one in three Gloucestershire herds were under TB restriction at some point last year, making it one of the worst affected counties in Britain.

The wildlife trust is currently working with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) to identify locations within its nature reserves where...

BCMS announces new one-page cattle passport.

3rd MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

The British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) have announced that the cattle passport is set to become a one-page document this summer in a move that will save an estimated £1m a year.

Agriculture Ministers in England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to move to a single A4 sheet from August 2011.  The new-style passport will contain all the same information as the cheque book style passport and there are no changes to the rules but it will not contain pre-paid movement cards.  Cattle...

Draft report on future of CAP is encouraging.

3rd MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

The NFU has commented that the European Parliament's draft report on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an encouraging step towards profressive reform.

The report, written by German MEP Albert Dress, is the first formal response to the European Commission's communication on how to reform the CAP after 2013.

The Commission has proposed that controversial greening measures should be a mandatory component of direct payments, but Mr Dress favours delivering...

High speed rail causes concern for farmers.

1st MarchPosted by Louise Taylor

The Farmers Weekly reports that farmers helped light dozens of beacons last night in a protest against the proposed high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

The public consultation into the Govt's proposed HS2 route was launched yesterday and local campaign groups, farmers and other people opposed to HS2 chose the same evening to protest against the project.

Ministers claim bringing Birmingham within 49 minutes of London would redraw Britain's economic map by...

Spelman backed by EU Ministers in call to get on with battery cage ban.

22nd FebruaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Defra Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has received backing from fellow EU Ministers for her calls to prevent a delay in implementing the battery cage ban.  It followed an attempt by some EU states to delay the ban beyond its scheduled start date of 2012 to give their farmers more time to comply. 

Mrs Spelman launched an attack on the proposed delay during a meeting of Agriculture Ministers in Brussels.  Several other countries, including Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands, backed...

Minister says farmers must 'go green' or else!

9th FebruaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The government was warned that compulsory measures will be considered unless more farmers increase the amount of land under environment management.  Minister Jim Paice says that more farmers must support the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. 

The campaign, which covers England only, was set up by the industry 15 months ago as a voluntary alternative to a compulsory set-aside replacement.  it aims to increase the amount of English farmland in voluntary environmental management by 30...

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