2 November 2001

Boundary changes put the block on movement

THERE are £80,000 worth of store cattle and £20,000 worth of Mule gimmer lambs waiting to leave Greystoke Castle Farms for restocking in Cumbria – but they cant be moved.

Like many farmers in this part of Cumbria, David Lawton has suddenly found his stock locked into a new restricted area after unexpected disease control boundary changes imposed by DEFRA.

"The cattle are sold and hopefully buyers will wait until we can move them off the farm, but these stores will start costing money should we have to house them.

"But gimmer lambs are more critical. Buyers want to tup them and cant wait indefinitely."

The impact of DEFRAs sudden boundary changes has also prevented tups being brought on to the farm.

"We havent enough rams. If we cant get them we may have to leave 1000 ewes barren. Who is going to compensate us for that?"

Mr Lawton says Cumbria is already suffering a serious restocking problem by not being able to bring animals from outside the county. But now within-county trading is also being stifled.

"Banks are not asking questions yet. They know stock is stacked up on farms and cant be moved. But they will soon realise these restrictions are seriously going to reduce next years output, cash flow and income. This will affect not only farms that cant sell livestock but also farms needing to restock after F&M." &#42