FARMERS FOCUS-LIVESTOCK FARMER– PETER WALTERS

I HAVE JUST had the organic inspection carried out by the Soil Association and what a long day that was. It involved not only the farm, but the shop and farm assurance as well.

The day and evening before were just as busy collecting the poultry, as well as last-minute pen-building. At least having all the stock on the farm for inspection means we won”t need another visit, not to mention fee.

I’m happy to say the farm and assurance inspection went well with no big problems. There were, however, a few non-compliances with the poultry. Fortunately, these were all minor things that were rectified the next day.

Before getting ready for slaughtering and plucking turkeys, geese and chicken, I first had to have a visit from environmental health. I then had to apply to the state vet service for a provisional licence to use an electric stunner before an assessment is carried out.

Still on the subject of inspections, I had an unexpected visit from a trading standards officer. Apparently he made a note of us selling meat at a show in the summer, so came to inspect the premises.

All the meat is processed at the shop, so nothing to inspect. No doubt that was a disappointment to him, but not to me because this month seems to have been one big inspection. It goes to show you never know who is watching you.

The November lambing of 75 ewes has now started and so far seems to be going well. But I have had a worm problem with a small batch of older lambs, so I have sought a derogation to use a wormer, which is restricted practice.

I don’t buy many drenches, but when I do, why can’t manufacturers supply a jubilee clip and a cap to take the pipe? I had to return to where I bought it from and, as luck had it, they found a cap. It wouldn’t have hurt the manufacturers to supply everything needed to use their product, would it?