Farmer Focus Livestock: RPA inspection runs smoothly for Bill Metcalf

We have recently had a cattle inspection by the Rural Payments Agency checking all ear-tags, passports and paperwork.

It went rather better than one we heard of: After an accident resulting in a broken leg during the inspection – for which the RPA accept no responsibility, naturally – a case of mistaken identity took place. A bull, which obviously thought it was a sheep trying to achieve its life’s ambition, laid down just where the injured animal had been and paid in a most unfortunate way when it was shot instead.

The first batch of lambers, the mule ewes have just about finished, lambing outside and only one or two having to come inside. We seem to be once again getting the full “hype” on using vaccine for bluetongue 8 with suggestions of how many midges are already appearing. But when one of the main companies does not accept responsibility for the problems caused by the release of foot-and-mouth, one wonders just how far the advice is balanced, and wonder just what strain is likely to be the real threat.

With the last few hoggets remaining, it was not too disappointing that when the price slipped back a little, as there was a danger of last year’s pet lambs actually being profitable, which just should not happen.

The 700m of hedges have now been planted and fencing and walling completed. Apart from some walling where, because of the delays before works sanction was obtained, it was not possible to get a builder in time, I hope this can be done later in the year.

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