11th June 2021


Rural Rap

KENT POLICE ARE REMINDING DOG OWNERS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR PETS.  The reminder follows another report of a sheep attack, this time near Wittersham.  The Police have also issued safety advice to dog owners, urging them to keep their pets safe and under control. On 7th June alone, eight people reported being bitten by a dog and sustained injuries.  Several of them required hospital treatment and, in the majority of cases, the dog was not on the lead. Officers were also called to a number of incidents where dogs were left in hot cars.

LIVE EXPORTS OF FARMED ANIMALS COULD SOON BE BANNED UNDER THE “KEPT ANIMALS BILL,” reports the Kent Messenger.  The Bill would make the UK the first European country to ban live exports.  Other areas of the proposed legislation include a ban on keeping primates as pets, a crackdown on puppy smuggling, restrictions on the import of pregnant dogs and mutilated dogs, and increased powers for police in instances of livestock worrying.  This follows the Animal Sentience Bill of May 13th, which recognises animals as sentient beings.

THE POLICE ARE TO BE GIVEN GREATER POWERS TO RESPOND TO LIVESTOCK WORRYING INCIDENTS, reports Farming UK and Farmers Weekly.  New measures to crack down on dog attacks are being included in the Kept Animals Bill.  Figures show that the cost of livestock worrying increased by over 10% to £1.3m last year, as the pandemic saw a surge in people visiting the countryside.  The Bill includes measures increasing the scope of livestock species and locations covered by the law, such as llamas, emus, enclosed deer and donkeys.

IF WE REALLY CARE ABOUT ANIMALS AND ENVIRONMENT WE NEED TO EAT MORE LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCE AND NOT WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT DOGS WORRYING OSTRICHES, argues The Times.  We ought to be reinforcing the trend that occurred naturally during lockdowns of eating more locally sourced produce, and eating less of it.  We should ensure that rewilding the countryside is not the preserve of the rich, and that there is help for small-scale farmers to keep their livestock in sustainable, free-range, humane conditions.

TRACTOR REGISTRATIONS IN MAY REMAINED WELL ABOVE THEIR 2020 COMPARATIVES, reports Farming UK.  New tractor registrations, typically seen as a bellweather for farmer confidence, were over 74.8% higher than in May last year.  This is 10% over the average for the time of year of the previous five years.  The total bought this year is up 21% year on year, and 7% up on the five year average.


Farmers in the Darent Valley are seeking a FARMER CLUSTER OFFICER to help steer them through a changing agricultural and environmental landscape. The new position will convene meetings, coordinate action across multiple farms and help develop local priorities in line with the needs of the farmers and for a thriving Darent river. This is an exciting opportunity to work at the forefront of a new chapter in agriculture and conservation.

The post is hosted jointly by the Kent Wildlife Trust and the Kent Downs AONB unit, to ensure an integrated approach.  For further information, and to apply: kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/jobs/farmer-cluster-officer-darent-valley

Closing date: Friday 25th June


RABI, Addington Fund, FCN, Forage Aid and RSABI, supported by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, have launched the Farming Help initiative.  The initiative is also being launched with the NFYFC, the NFU and the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. 
FARMING HELP recognises that this will be an anxious time for many farmers and farming families and periods of poor health or self-isolation may result in temporary practical difficulties on farm.  For help drafting a contingency plan, for practical local help with livestock, shopping etc, or to discuss your concerns and anxieties,

Contact 03000 111 999 or visit www.farminghelp.co.uk

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