Defra consulation on Bovine TB eradication in England

Consultation closes on 24th March

Full details of the Consultation and online survey

The government published a response to the Godfray Review in March 2020, setting out three top priorities for the next phase of the bTB Strategy:
  • accelerating work to develop a deployable cattle vaccine in the next five years;
  • evolving the wildlife control policy, by beginning to phase out intensive badger culling in the next few years and gradually replacing this with government-supported badger vaccination and surveillance. Culling would remain an option where epidemiological assessment indicates that it is needed;
  • improving diagnostic testing to root out bTB more effectively, with deployment of more sensitive tests for surveillance supported by greater use of on-farm restriction of cattle with inconclusive test results.
This consultation sets out in more detail proposed changes to aspects of bTB policy in keeping with these priorities, in order to begin the transition into the next phase of the bTB Strategy. It purposefully brings together cattle and wildlife measures given our strategy is holistic.

Defra consultation on Live Exports Ban

Consultation on Live Exports Ban

Deadline extended to 25th February

Proposal to ban live export of livestock and horses (this will not apply to poultry) for slaughter and fattening. The consultation also covers regulation for domestic travel, including Reducing maximum journey times, Providing more space and headroom during transport, Stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures.

This will apply in England and Wales, where the journeys begin in or transit through either country.

Computers for Schools

Computers for Schools

If you have any old laptops/iPads which are no longer being used, please consider donating them to a local school. Children are being required to learn online but many do not have access to the technology nor the data.
If you’re not sure which school to contact, St. Thomas Cantilupe in Hereford would love to hear from you.  Tel:  01432 268400    Email:

Also – Laptops 2 Kids Herefordshire

Are looking for laptops & tablets and their charge/power cables.  They should be working an ideally no more than 6-7 years old (may take older if high specification.  Or you can donate cash which will help buy power cables or drives for the devices or make minor performance upgrades.

Email Tim or John at

Avian Influenza – new housing rules for ALL poultry keepers from 14th December 2020

Defra’s new housing rules will be in place in Great Britain from 14th December. The new rules mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds housed or otherwise separate from wild birds and follow strict biosecurity measures to combat the spread of Avian Influenza.

A joint statement from Great Britain’s three Chief Veterinary Officers said:

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

To assist you to comply with this requirement or perhaps to assist a poultry keeping neighbour, please find below a link to a wealth of support information from the NFU, which is being made available to all poultry keepers.

All poultry keepers can access this Avian Influenza information without the requirement for a membership number or password.

Biosecurity resources for poultry keepers (

Please circulate the information as you see fit in order to protect the nation’s poultry.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone across England

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading.

Full details, including an interactive map

Defra measures for the temporary control zones in Herefordshire

This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

Keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Backyard owners with smaller numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese are also urged to strengthen their biosecurity measures in order to prevent further outbreaks of avian influenza in the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Poultry keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the
Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77

Keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301

Keepers should familiarise themselves with Avian Bird Flu Advice

DEFRA consultation “Reducing ammonia emissions from urea fertilisers”

Ammonia is an air pollutant that is detrimental to our natural environment and is a pre-curser to particulate matter, which is detrimental to human health. Our statutory obligations to restore our degraded habitats and to reduce our ammonia emissions by 8% by 2020 and by 16% by 2030 mean that we must act urgently to tackle our ammonia emissions. As ammonia emissions are predominantly from agriculture (87%) and around 8% are from the use of solid urea fertilisers, this consultation seeks your views on three policy options that give us the greatest ammonia emission reductions from regulating the use or sale of sold urea fertilisers.

The consultation is open until 26th January 2021

To have your say visit

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme – Round 3

The Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme Round 3 is now open for applications.

The CPSG provides investment towards specific items of equipment which will improve productivity and efficiency for farming and horticultural businesses. Please read the guidance carefully to decide whether the items under this scheme meet the investment plans for your business, and if you qualify for support.

Full guidance is in the online handbook (which you can read online or download and print out).  It explains what Round 3 of the CPSG grant is for, who is eligible, how to apply and if successful, how to claim.

 You must submit your application using the online portal by noon on 4th November 2020. Applications cannot be submitted after this date.

Marches Small Business Recovery Grant – applications open Weds 14th October

Marches Small Business Recovery Grant launched

 A new £630,000 grant scheme to help small businesses across the Marches which have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has been launched today.

Grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 are available through the Marches Small Business Recovery Grant, which will help both tourism businesses and those in the wider economy.

Only small businesses in Telford & Wrekin, Shropshire and Herefordshire (the Marches area) with up to ten full-time employees and who can demonstrate a negative impact due to the coronavirus crisis are able to apply.

The grants will be available for projects running between November and January. Costs can cover specialist advice – including HR, accountancy, legal, financial, health and safety, IT/digital and sector-related consultancy – and/or equipment to address immediate needs in response to Covid-19.

Telford & Wrekin Council, says it anticipates high demand for the scheme, which will be run on a first-come first-served basis from its launch on October 14.

Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for the Economy, Housing, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “This funding is focussed on supporting some of the smaller businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. These are part of the lifeblood of our economy employing many local people.

“We expect demand to be high and there is a finite pot of money allocated from the European Regional Development Fund for the Marches. I would therefore urge businesses to check the eligibility criteria carefully and respond quickly as it is likely that the funds will be allocated very quickly and we may not be able to meet the demand.”

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership region has been allocated £215,000 to support tourism businesses and £415,000 for businesses in other sectors through the European Regional Development Fund.

Gill Hamer, Chief executive of the Marches LEP, said the funding was vitally needed by small businesses across the region.

“We know the tourism industry in our region in particular has been ravaged by the impact of Covid-19 and these grants will offer some essential help at a time of great worry and stress.

“The impact on the wider economy has also been profound and we know from our own research that it is smaller businesses which have often been put at most risk.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP said: “We have always said that we would stand behind our businesses and communities as we rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding does exactly that.

“Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild. Small and medium sized businesses are the beating heart of communities; they provide employment and contribute significantly to local economies and we are determined to give them the support they need to continue to thrive.”

The money is drawn from the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

Applications will open on Wednesday 14th October at 9am so please take the opportunity to review the information we’ve initially provided on the dedicated website around eligibility and what’s needed in order to prepare and make a successful application.