Farmers would be wise to be particularly vigilant about raven attacks when looking after their newborn lambs, as reports of incidents of this kind appear to be on the rise.
Ravens are in fact a protected species here in the UK, living wild in places like the Lake District, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Wales and the Scottish highlands – and farmers must apply to Natural England for a licence in order to kill them, the Daily Mail reports.
And now farmers are becoming so concerned about the birds – which have been killing lambs by pecking out their tongues and eyes – that some are demanding that they be given the right to shoot ravens without this licence in place.
Martyn Fletcher, a shepherd in Wiltshire, was quoted by the news source as saying: “Five years ago we saw ravens but attacks on sheep were rare. Last year, there were eight pairs of birds
Sheep farmers are encouraging consumers to make a few menu changes this week, with the launch of this year’s Love Lamb Week, taking place between September 1st and 7th.
Run by farming organisations the National Sheep Association and the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the event – now in its third year – is intended to help people feel more confident when it comes to cooking lamb.
However, the focus this year is on encouraging younger people to start eating the meat, as well as older demographics. Over the last 15 years, fewer people have been eating lamb regularly – and those aged over 55 seem to enjoy it the most.
As such, the team behind the initiative has buddied up with parenting advice site Mumsnet to help families feel more confident when cooking with lamb.
Lamb marketer at the AHDB Nick Lamb commented: “We’d l
Livestock in Dartmoor, one of the national parks in Devon, is being put at risk because of holidaymakers and pleasure seekers who are keen to go out camping, biking and climbing.
This is according to Marion Saunders, chairwoman of the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society, who noted in her foreword to the group’s annual report that that the “recreational overuse” of this part of the country is changing the moorland’s character and having a negative impact on the animals, the Guardian reports.
“Off-road cycling, wild camping, marathon running, rock climbing, tobogganing, the tread of thousands of feet, hang gliding and more all occur on Dartmoor and they push hill farming in to the background,” Ms Saunders continued.
She went on to add that, while some coming to the area may find it a hindrance to have to slow down for s
Sheep farmers around the UK will likely be reaching for their shearers after hearing how two Welsh wool producers have succeeded in setting a new record for Nine Hour Two Stand Blade Shearing on Lambs.
According to Farming UK, Gareth Owen and Clive Hamer started their attempt at 05:00 on September 30th at Fernhill farm in Somerset – and they achieved a total of 397 sheep, which worked out an average of 44 sheep an hour.
Mr Owen also succeeded in taking the solo blade title for himself, shearing an incredible 202 sheep. He’s currently a sheep farmer in the Snowdonia National Park and farms more than 1,000 sheep. He first started blade shearing aged just 15 and has competed for Wales, shearing all over the world.
Mr Hamer, meanwhile, works at Hirnant in Elan Valley and shears sheep commercially here and over