Horsemeat scandal damaging industry, says Andrew Burleigh

At a police road check an officer stops a man and says: “There is a smell of alcohol off you, have you been drinking?” The man replies: “No officer, I have just eaten a Red Rum burger.”

The present crisis in the meat industry, with horsemeat being found in a variety of products in a number of prominent stores, would be a joke if it was not so damaging to our agri-industry and consumer confidence. Here in Northern Ireland we can reassure the public their local butcher is a tried and trusted place, where they can source local, quality produce that is fit for their table .

On the weather front, February came in with heavy rain and snow, which hindered getting newborn lambs out, with the ground waterlogged. Slurry storage has been a major headache. We managed to get a few loads out of each tank during the first week in February to relieve the situation.

There have been larger-than-usual numbers of cattle out in the rings due to the pending shortage of fodder. Round bales are making £35, with hay at £30.

Our local show in August has been chosen by the British Simmental Society to host the UK Young Stockjudging finals and we look forward to welcoming breeders from all regions of the UK. As this is my last article as a farmer focus writer I would like to wish everyone involved in our beloved way of life all the best. So, it’s over and out from my family and I.

Andrew Burleigh runs a mixed farm and traditional butchers shop in south-west Fermanagh with his wife Rosalind and sons Alan and Lee. The home farm is run by his brother and nephew, and is home to a Beltex pedigree flock alongside a commercial flock, suckler cows, stores and beef cattle.

More on this topic

For more articles from Andrew Burleigh

Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers

See more