NSA Members Update 11th January 2013

By Suffolk Sheep Society 15th January, 2013

NSA proposals for RDP Animal Health Scheme, Action on price, Spotlight on RSPCA, Calling all young NSA members – win the chance to tell Farming Minister David Heath what the sheep sector needs in the future and NSA Dates

NSA proposals for RDP Animal Health Scheme.

On Tuesday (8th January) NSA held a meeting for key relevant farming organisations to discuss our proposals for a new Animal Health Scheme under the next Rural Development Programme as part of CAP reform. Invited or included were NFU, NBA, TFA, FUW, Welsh Government, Sheep Vet Society, BVA, BCVA, XL vet group and Westpoint vet group. This is part of a process of explaining and discussing our plans, and hopefully getting support for them while also having the chance to do some fine tuning and agreement on next steps.

The meeting went well with all representatives supporting the principle of the plans and agreeing the principle helps address some of the main challenges farming and food production is facing. Next steps are to continue to refine our thinking and calculate evidence of the public benefits that would ensue from improving health management and disease control, before presentations are made to Government(s) and related policy forums.

 Action on price.

We share the dismay of members about the current lamb price and are doing what we can in the difficult challenge of highlighting the situation to the national media and encouraging UK lamb consumption over New Zealand product. We will keep you posted on any progress in this area.

In Scotland, Scottish Development Officer George Milne put a press release out earlier in the week and has been speaking with NFUS and Quality Meat Scotland to try and find a way forward. He is co-ordinating a meeting for farming organisations in the near future, with a view to taking the issue to Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead. We will keep you updated on this also.

Spotlight on RSPCA.

Readers of the Daily Mail may see an article appear on Saturday throwing a spotlight on RSPCA’s new Chief Executive Gavin Grant, his influence on the organisation’s activities and whether the new hardline approach is having positive or negative impacts on the RSPCAs objectives. With legal challenges still underway regarding the Ramsgate incident we are still awaiting the results of the Defra investigation into the incident.

Calling all young NSA members – win the chance to tell Farming Minister David Heath what the sheep sector needs in the future.

Anyone who uses Twitter (and considers themselves to meet Defra’s description of being ‘young’!) could win an opportunity to meet Farming Minister David Heath by tweeting a message about what they see as the key barrier facing their future in farming. All tweets must carry the hash-tag #meetfm.

 The deadline is Thursday 24th January, after which five of the best tweeters will be invited to meet David Heath in the Houses of Parliament. Some interesting tweets so far include:-

● “Succession within the family business and more access to industry mentors for new entrants.” ● “Recruit some graduate positions in farming and environmental policy at Defra perhaps!” ● “A re-organisation of the lamentable council farms system, to attract new entrants.” ● “Single farm payments are the biggest barrier for new entrants. They give bad farmers an income and make rents unviable!” ●

The competition to meet David Heath is part of activity around a ‘Future of Farming review’, which has been commissioned by the Farming Minister to investigate how to improve access for talented, entrepreneurial young people and how to make agriculture a more attractive career choice. Click here to read more on the Defra website.

 In other news …

  • Countdown to NSA Central Region Winter Fair – now only 13 days away: All the information about the Central Region Winter fair, including a programme of events, can be found here. We look forward to seeing you at Bakewell Market – wear thermals!
  • Green light for NSA Highland Sheep on Thursday 30th May: This new event for 2013 is taking shape with the first organising committee meeting held this week. The event chairman will be Rod McKenzie, a sheep farmer, past NSA Scotland chairman and past Scot Sheep Chairman. Find out more here.
  • Remember to fill in your sheep breed survey this weekend: The deadline for filling in the sheep breed survey is Monday (14th January) so if you have not already done so, please take the time this weekend. If you have not received your survey (or don’t know where you’ve put it!) find one by clicking here.
  • Sheep lameness researcher recognised with top award: This week saw the Royal Agricultural Society for England (RASE) release its annual awards list, which this year included Professor Laura Green winning the RASE Research Medal. Many members will be familiar with Warwick University’s work in this area and it is good to see RASE’s award commendation ‘in recognition of Professor Green’s outstanding scientific work in reducing footrot in sheep’.
  • Regional representatives needed for British Wool Marketing Board: The British Wool Marketing Board is looking for nominations for regional representatives in three regions: South West England, South Wales and North Scotland. These reps will serve for three years, starting in April 2013. Nominations must be receive by 6pm on Thursday 31st January. Email jeanmurphy@britishwool.org.uk.
  • Online tool for managing surpluses and shortages of cade lambs this lambing time: The Lamb Bank – www.lambbank.co.uk – is a new and free service for farmers to find and advertise cade lambs. It also includes the facility to register your details and receive an email when surplus lambs become available in your area.

 NSA EVENTS DIARY(all 2013 NSA events, including next year’s ram sales can be found by clicking here)


NSA NI Farm Walks: Organised by AFBI, AgriSearch and CAFRE in conjunction with NSA NI.

  1. Tuesday 15th January, 2pm at Ian Buchanan’s farm, Dungiven.
  2. Wednesday 16th January, 2pm at Francis and John McHenry’s farm, Moss-side.
  3. Thursday 17th January, 2pm at Alan Montgomery’s farm.


NSA Cymru/Wales Roadshow 1:Tuesday 22nd January, 7.30pm at the RoyalVictoria Hotel, Llanberis. Panel to include speakers from NSA, BWMB and Dunbia; open to members and non-members; refreshments available. Details from Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helen@nationalsheep.org.uk.


NSA Central Region Winter Fair: Thursday 24th January 2013 at Bakewell Auction Mart (by kind permission of Derbyshire Dales District Council). For enquiries speak to Bob and Anne Payne of the Central Region on 01142 883241 or 07803 744437, or Helen Davies, Event Organiser, on 01938 590535 or 07976 803066. Booking forms for trade stands and breed societies can be found here.


NSA Cymru/Wales Roadshow 2:Tuesday 29th January, 7.30pm at the Plough, Rhosmaen, Llandeilo. Other details as above.


NSA Northern Region AGM: Wednesday 13th February, 7.30pm at the Hired Lad, Penrith Auction Mart.


NSA Cymru/Wales AGM:Monday 18th February, 2pm at Hafod Y Hendre on the Royal Welsh Showground, followed by Prof. E. Wynne Jones (OBE, FRAgS) speaking about ‘How will CAP Reform affect sheep farming in the future? What kind of shepherd will there be in 20 years’ time?’ Open to members and non-members. Click herefor an agenda.


NSA South West AGM: Wednesday 20th February, 7.30pm at Exeter Livestock Centre – please note this is the 20th February; the 27th February was a date circulated in error.


NSA Scotland AGM and Dinner: Saturday 2nd March at Dunblane Hydro, Stirling 4pm for the AGM, 7pm for the Dinner. Tickets (£30+VAT) available from Caroline Orr on 07966 590251 or carolineorr1@hotmail.co.uk.


Leave a comment