We have to keep up with the changes, whatever our job
My list of people who know nothing about farming and animal welfare continues to grow. I wonder why they feel it necessary to criticise the farming industry.
Len Short has a very strange theory that if we do not take action to control the numbers of badgers and feed our animals less, they will stop catching the TB that is being spread by badgers. He says that feeding the cattle with what is a good balanced dietary meal weakens their immune system.
Obviously the opposite is the case. A lot of scientific investigation goes into all aspects of animal welfare and farmers have to keep up with the findings. Hence the necessity to have seminars. Possibly Mr Short has a job in a profession that has never changed in the last hundred years and therefore needs no updating.
I have been lucky enough to have jobs where I have had many seminars. National Service was first where I became a specialist dietary cook in a military hospital. I was working at The Bank of England when it decided to computerise much of the work and I was lucky enough to be one of those involved so I had to learn programming, systems analysis and eventually auditing of both clerical work and computer systems all needed training because of the changes. Farming is no different and having now been in the industry for 30 years, things continue to change and we have to keep up with changes.
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Cattle are no different to humans and they can get sick. As with humans cattle can get mastitis, they can have foot problems and they can be infertile. In most cases mastitis and lameness can be cured but these problems are a cost to the farmer – there is no compensation as Mr Short seems to be saying. Mr Short obviously does not realise that cattle cannot be left in just one field. They have to be moved to different fields.
When they have finished grazing one field they are moved to another so that the grass on the original one can re-grow. The other fields that he says are unused are presumably growing winter feed so are used for making hay or silage.
Like his lawn, grass stops growing in the winter so there is no grazing for the animals. I agree that some of these fields could be used to grow cereals instead of grass, but the grass is turned into meat, milk etc for the majority of the population who prefer to eat a good balanced diet.
By the way, it would seem that Mr Short does not realise that animals will only produce milk if they first produce a baby.
We currently have calves popping out all over the place with a lot of late nights and we have had more twins than usual – obviously our cows are being looked after very well! I very much object to Mr Short saying that we do not look after our animals. By the way, what are "animal voices"? I have a human one!