Animal health and welfare training help for livestock keepers

The first ever Trading Standardslegal training for farmers in Buckinghamshire is being hosted by the County Council this week in conjunction with the Government’s new Farm Advisory Service.

It’s in response to the changing landscape of advice and guidance available to new farmers and livestock keepers.

Trading Standards Officers want to help farmers and other animal keepers pick their way through the 10 new pieces of legislation at a dedicatedtraining day onFriday (November6).

The session, one of eight training days across the South East supported by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs), will be led by Simon Draper from the Department’s Farm Advisory Service.

In the past three years 170 new livestock keepers have registered in the county – a 16 per cent increase raising the total to 1,363. The County Council receives regular registrations from the Animal and plant Health Agency of new livestock keepers, typically those looking after sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, poultry, horses and alpacas.

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards officer Kelly Wilson said legislation existed to prevent the risk to the food chain of major diseases like foot and mouth, and TB. She said livestock keepers had to tag animals, report their movements and deaths, and keep these in farm records.

During inspections two years ago it was found that more than half the nation’s livestock keepers failed to comply with these regulations.

‘We like to work with farmers to help them raise and keep their animals to therecognised standards,’ said Kelly’We’d far rather do all we can to help livestock keepers to comply with regulations than take enforcement action against them for non-compliance. That’s why we’ve organised this training.’

Martin Phillips,Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: ‘We take food safety very seriously in Buckinghamshire, and this training is a golden opportunity for livestock keepers to help them learn and understand their responsibilities.’

The training day is being hostedat Vale Training Services, of Marsh Hill Farm, between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury.