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Archive Article: 1995/06/09

9 June 1995

At Newarks Summer Cow and Calf Special on Monday, Belgian Blue heifers with steers calves at foot sold to £1800, averaging £1142.Those with heifer calves, as with all breeds, proved harder to cash, reaching £1050 and levelling at £936. Trade in the finished ring remained brisk, with an overall average of 128p/kg. Lambs, meanwhile, levelled at 119p/kg (Newark Livestock Market).

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Archive Article: 1995/06/09

9 June 1995

A plough attachment claimed to break up soil and stop heavy clay clods "setting" is now available in the UK. Imported by Newmarket-based Claydon Yieldmeter, the German-built Furrow Cracker comprises a row of steel blades which slice the soil as it leaves the plough bodies. Designed to be fitted to most makes of reversible plough, working depth can be adjusted manually from 5 to 15cm (2-6in) or, as an option, hydraulically from the tractor cab. The blades can also be set to work at different angles to cope with a variety of soil types. Prices range from £2420 for a three-furrow version to £3075 for a five-furrow.

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Archive Article: 1995/06/09

9 June 1995

Hopefully MPs who returned from their interrupted Whitsun break this week will lose no time in condemning the arson attacks on two Milk Marque depots over the Bank Holiday.

If, as suspected, animal rights activists are to blame no MP or peer should defend or excuse them. But as was pointed out in this column (Feb 17), there are some in both Houses who almost incite people to defy laws which they consider immoral or unjust.

Such behaviour is even more worrying when seen against the results of a Gallup survey published on Monday. It showed that 68% of the public believe there are times when protesters are justified in breaking the law.

The poll did show that an overwhelming majority of people were against any form of violent protest. But this is little comfort to the poultry farmers whose premises have been fire-bombed, many isolated livestock farmers who feel they too could become targets, and even Cabinet ministers like William Waldegrave who have received letters booby-trapped with razor blades and incendiary devices.

Luckily most of our legislators still appear keen to uphold democratic ways of achieving changes in legislation and are aware of the dangers of mob rule.

Warnings of these very dangers were sounded in the Lords just before the recess in a debate on single issue pressure groups. Lord Chalfont said it was not extreme to say that in a society where change can be made democratically, the use of violence for political ends – which was characteristic of many single issue groups – was a form of terrorism.

"It is terrorism whether its practitioners are members of the Red Brigade, Greenpeace, the animals rights movement or anyone else," he said.

Even more sinister was what he described as the "entryism" technique where political extremists who having nothing to do with the single issue at all infiltrate and exploit single issue groups.

There was little doubt that such familiar single issue groups as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and various animals rights movements were being exploited by people with an agenda which had nothing to do with preserving the environment or the rights of animals.

The day before MPs heard about some of the difficulties in prosecuting animal rights activists even when they are caught virtually red-handed.

Home Secretary Michael Howard described how three people were arrested with a number of fire bombs to be used against animal transporters. The evidence against them was overwhelming, he said.

Unknown to the police who arrested them, however, intelligence files were held centrally on the organisation to which the defendants belonged.

Although none of that information was to form part of the prosecution case at the trial, the judge ruled the files should be disclosed to the defence.

Since that would have compromised future investigations the prosecution decided to offer no evidence, rather than comply with the ruling, said Mr Howard.

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Archive Article: 1995/06/09

9 June 1995

PEGASUS, an English rose from David Austin, was one of several new roses launched at the Chelsea Flower Show.

This apricot-yellow rose fading to cream at the edges, has a rich Tea Rose fragrance, and the 90cm x 1.05m (3ft x 31/2ft) plant is claimed to be remarkably free from disease.

It has been named for the Riding for the Disabled Association incorporating Driving, which provides pleasure and therapy for 25,000 children and adults. It will directly benefit them, too, as David Austin Roses (01902-373931) is giving 10% of the proceeds from the sale of Pegasus to the charity.

Ground cover roses, useful for smothering ground, tumbling over banks and walls or for growing in tubs and other containers, are ideal for the extensive farmhouse garden, and among the varieties promoted at the show was Flower Carpet, featured on the Fryers Nurseries (01565-755455) stand. Its trusses of large double flowers should provide a summer-long blanket of bright pink.

The "Rose of the Year 1995" is also a ground cover species. This is Chatsworth, which was exhibited by Burrows Roses (01332-668289). A rich pink with amber stamens, it is free flowering, disease resistant, grows 60cm (2ft) tall and covers an area of 1.5m (5ft).

But old flowers are just as fascinating as new ones to the true gardener and, besides drawing enthusiasts attention to its own gardens, the National Trust for Scotland (0131-226 5922) was asking them to help trace old varieties of daffodils. These are the cultivars developed by Major Ian Brodie from 1899 to 1949, during which time he selected and named 420 varieties.

"We are hoping to hear from people with labelled collections or lists of what their parents or grandparents planted," said Duncan Donald. "We cant visit unlabelled, naturalised colonies, but Ill gladly look at photographs and send a full list of Brodie-bred cultivars to anyone who wants one."

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