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Warwickshire Rural Hub

Health and Safety

Introducing the new Animal Health and Welfare Pathway

Over the last couple of years a group of farmers, supported by vets, specialists and Defra colleagues, have worked together to design a way to help fellow farmers bolster the health and welfare of their stock, whilst at the same time improving their bottom line.   The new project is called the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway.   The programme is set to start in Spring 2022 with a vet visit which will be paid for by the government. They will undertake a health and welfare review of the farm, including diagnostic testing, to set the foundations for the journey along the Pathway. The initial focus will be on improving disease prevention and controlling or eradicating an industry agreed list of diseases in each species.  Having completed this first step, farmers will continue along the Pathway supported by Animal Health and Welfare grants which will be launched later in 2022.  Visit this page for further information on the new programme.

Mind your head and look out for others on #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

The agricultural industry faces many stress factors, which are placing increasing pressure on workers and putting them at greater risk of mental ill health. These include extended amounts of time working in isolation, a blurring between work and home life, and financial uncertainty.  Research by the Farm Safety Foundation revealed that four out of five young farmers (under 40) believe that mental health is the biggest hidden problem facing farmers today. In 2018 they launched a campaign – Mind Your Head – to raise awareness of this growing issue in the industry and, since then, one thing has become evident; farmer health and wellbeing can not, and should not, be ignored – by any of us.  Friday 10 September is #WorldSuicidePreventionDay – so please remember to mind your head and reach out to friends, colleagues, neighbours and relatives who might be struggling.

Advice for farmers following large factory fire in Leamington Spa

The Animal and Plant Health Agency have issued some guidance following the fire at Leeson Polyurethanes Ltd in Leamington Spa on Friday 27 August.  Warwick District Council has advised that debris has fallen over quite a large area including farms stretching south of the county towards Barford and Wellesbourne.  Following advice received from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), farmers with livestock or agricultural land for grazing/harvesting are advised to:

  • Remove any large pieces of debris as per the advice provided.
  • Don’t graze animals on the land until the debris is removed
  • Allow time for particles to be rained into the land before grazing or harvesting
  • Check water troughs thoroughly and replace water as needed

UK is now officially free of Avian Influenza – but poultry keepers should remain vigilant

As of 3 September 2021 the UK is officially free of Avia Influenza.   This allows market access discussions to reopen with our 3rd country trading partners. However, the UK’s Chief Vet has reiterated calls for all poultry keepers to remain vigilant for signs of the disease as we move into this coming winter. Highly pathogenic avian influenza continues to circulate in both wild and captive birds in Europe and as winter approaches the risk of migratory wild birds flying to the UK over the colder months will mean that the risks for domestic poultry are likely to rise.  Visit this page for further advice.  

Free advice on TB is extended to all livestock farmers in England

Defra has awarded a new contract for TB advice to Farmcare Solutions, which comprises an entirely vet-led team.  This new contact introduces some fundamental changes to the TB Advisory Service including their free advice being available to any farm in England that keeps livestock susceptible to TB, not just those in high risk and edge areas.  This means that:
  • the advice will be available to keepers of not just cattle but farmed sheep, pigs, deer and camelids.
  • there will be an increase in the number of free visits. Now an initial visit will be carried out by a veterinary surgeon and a second follow up visit six months later (both are free to the farmer).
  • all farmers who have already accessed the service will be eligible for the new funding.

For full information on the advice please visit the TB Advisory Service website.  

Put forward your views on antimicrobial use and raise funds for a farming charity

Deliberation around antimicrobial use in farming is increasing. The James Hutton institute is taking part in a large EU project on the subject and seeking views from as many livestock farmers as possible regarding the way antimicrobials are presently used and how they may be used in the future.  To enable a better understanding of farmers’ experiences and views, livestock farmers, farm partners and farm employees are invited to complete an anonymous survey which takes up to 30 minutes.  There will be a donation of £5 to the farmer’s selected farming charity for each completed survey.  Complete the survey by following this link.

 

Mobile warm hub tackles social isolation in Warwickshire

As social isolation has risen due to Covid-19, Warwickshire Rural Community Council believes it’s more important than ever to help our vulnerable residents, particularly those living in villages and rural areas. The WRCC new Mobile Warm Hub service, supported by Cadent, uses a converted community transport minibus to visit rural and semi-rural areas in Warwickshire and Solihull on a daily basis.  The bus parks in a suitable location and serves free refreshments for a couple of hours. The Mobile Warm Hub carries leaflets and materials about energy saving and home safety matters, as well as information on a range of other community support services.   For information about our Mobile Warm Hub visit to your rural community, please call 01789 777986 (Mon – Thurs, 9.00am – 4.00pm; Fri 9.00am – 1.00pm, answerphone service available outside these times) or email mobilewarmhubs@vasa.org.uk.

RABI to introduce 24/7 helpline in the autumn

Responding to the increasing demand from farming people, RABI is extending its freephone helpline this autumn, to provide the farming community with a 24-hour service. The national farming charity believes that a ‘round the clock’ service will better meet the needs of a sector renowned for working long and often unpredictable hours.

Website to track bovine TB outbreaks

The Animal and Plant Health Agency has launched an online interactive mapping tool for ongoing and resolved TB breakdowns in England and Wales over the past 10 years. The site can be used to find out about the bovine TB situation in your local area, and when purchasing cattle.  Visit the site here.

Take 2 minutes to complete the Tractor Wheel of Life

A healthy and resilient business is all about balance. The 2 Minute Farmer is a project which has identified 10 areas that contribute to a balanced farm life and these are all included in a self-assessment tool called the ‘Tractor Wheel of Life’.  As the wheel is still in development farmers are being asked to test out the prototype and complete the feedback form.  You can either complete the Wheel online or request a paper copy.  To download the Tractor Wheel of Life and find out more about the project visit this page.

Set your iphone to call emergency services with 5 clicks of the sleep/wake button

Did you know that you can set your iphone to call emergency services just by pressing the lock button 5 times?  Go to “Settings” and search for Emergency SOS.   You then need to enable “Auto Call”.  You can also select to set a loud warning sound.

Website to help sheep farmers control parasites

Better and more targeted parasite control in sheep can lead to improvements in flock health and performance. The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) is an industry-led group formed to develop sustainable strategies for parasite control in sheep, facilitate and oversee the delivery of these recommendations to the industry and ensure that new research and development is incorporated to refine and improve advice given to the sheep industry.  Their website can be accessed here.  

RABI launches online mental health support

The farming charity Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution has launched a partnership with Qwell and Kooth to provide a free, confidential online community and counselling service for farmers and their families.  The initiative features two distinct sites – Qwell.io/rabi for adults, while Kooth.com/rabi is tailored to those aged 11-17.  The websites include dedicated farmer friendly content that addresses farming sector specific challenges such as loneliness, Brexit anxiety, animal health and crop disease and farm debt.   Users will be able to anonymously access farmer specific and more generic content, as well as a wealth of discussion boards, case studies and messaging functions. There are many tools, such as a journal to record and track progress against personal goals, as well as tips and articles.  In addition, all users can access one-to-one counselling support from BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) recognised, qualified professionals through a chat function. The practitioners are trained in different forms of counselling, allowing them to meet individual needs and preferences.

Search before you dig with the free to use online search service

Did you know that it’s National Safe Digging Week ending on 26 September 2020?  Over one third of farmers have hit an underground pipe or cable whilst digging, or know a colleague that has – and tragically, 33 percent of these incidents resulted in fatalities.  To dig safely consider using www.linesearchbeforeyoudig.co.uk – a free to use online search service where any individual can check their works against owners’ utility assets. These assets include hundreds of thousands of kilometres of underground and overhead pipelines and cables in the electricity, gas, high pressure fuel/oil, heating, water and fibre optic networks.

Coventry Corsairs Rugby Club

Coventry Corsairs is Coventry’s first fully inclusive Rugby Club. They train at Coventrians in Holbrooks on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings 7pm – 8.30pm.   All ages and abilities and anyone with a love of rugby are welcome.  For contact details please visit this page.

 

It’s OK not to be OK

Please remember its OK not be OK.  Take a look at the Yellow Wellies Mind Your Head page to see where you can access support when the going gets tough.   The Farming Community Network support line is open every day of the year, 7.00am – 11.00pm.

Tel: 03000 111999 or email help@fcn.org.uk

 

 

What3words: the app that could save your life

What3words is a free app that points to a very specific location in the world.  It has divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address.  When you download the app it will find your location and give you the 3 words that are assigned to your location – which can be given to emergency services to enable them to locate you straight away.  The app does not need a phone connection to give you your three words.  

Download the Farmers’ Guardian guide to safeguarding your farm

For Farm Safety Week (14 – 22 July) Farmers’ Guardian has published an Intelligence Guide for Health and Safety, making sure that in a time of increasing numbers of farm fatalities you can take steps to better safeguard your farm and your future. Download your copy here.

The little book of minding your head

There are a number of mental health risk factors associated with agriculture. Farmers work long hours, often in isolation. They can be under significant financial pressure, often required to take on significant debt to purchase the land and equipment required to operate. And in most cases, a farmer’s place of business is also his or her home, meaning there is no easy way to get away from the workload.   Increased understanding, and discussions around mental health will, in time, reduce the discrimination experienced  by those who have mental health issues. The Farm Safety Foundation’s Little Book of Minding Your Head offers a pocket guide to understanding mental health and stress management.  Download your copy here.

Good Farm Guide published by Health and Safety Executive

A guide entitled “What a good farm looks like” has been published by Health and Safety Executive.   The guide will help farmers understand the common risks to health and safety on farms and what can be done to control them.  HSE Inspectors will also look at the topics covered in this guide when they visit farms to check that risks are being controlled in these areas.  The guide can be accessed here.

Livestock safety focus from the Farm Safety Partnership

The NFU and partners in the Farm Safety Partnership are highlighting steps that farmers can take to better manage risk to themselves, their workers and to the public.

The key messages to industry they are promoting are:

1. Select and use well designed handling facilities, in the yard, buildings and field. Keep them maintained.

2. Never enter an enclosure with a loose bull or when an unrestrained cow is with a calf unless the animals are restrained or segregated.

3. Remove aggressive animals from the herd.

4. Wherever possible separate livestock from the public and select fields without rights of way when cattle have calves at foot.

Further information can be viewed here.

Farm Safety Partnership aims to reduce fatal accidents by 50%

The NFU and partners in the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) have committed to work towards reducing farm work place fatal accidents by 50% by 2023.  To help achieve this ambition, the NFU and FSP partners are launching a year-long safety campaign focusing attention on four of the top causes of farm work place fatality and injury.  The aim of the campaign is to highlight changes that can be made by farmers to farm work place behaviours which, if implemented, have the potential to significantly improve the safety record of agriculture and save lives often at minimal cost.

The first quarter‘s campaign focuses on transport.  A new NFU Vehicle Health Check Guide has been released to help farmers maintain and use vehicles safely and comply with the law.  The guide can be downloaded here.

Tips for reducing fire risk

Every year in the UK, 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 acres of grassland are destroyed by fire.
Tips to consider for reducing fire risk:
• Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting
• Hay and straw should be stored separately from other buildings, particularly those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery in stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least 10 metres apart separately from livestock housing
• Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas and storage tank outlets should be padlocked.
• Fertilisers and pesticides should be kept under lock and key. The Health & Safety Executive can provide further advice on the storage and transportation of fertilisers, particularly ammonium nitrate.
• Rubbish should be disposed of safely and on a regular basis
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue state that it is very important to ensure that the property name whether a farm, house or business is clearly shown at the entrance so emergency services can locate your property as quickly as possible.

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Jane Hampson
E: info@ruralhub.org.uk

Tel: 07780 159291

 

Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors

Henry Lucas (Chair)
Graham Collier (Deputy Chair)
Rosemary Collier
Amy Brant
Karen Ellis
Carrie Robbins
Alexandra Robinson

 

 

 

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George Bostock, NFU
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Mark Dickin, Ellacotts Accountants
Emlyn Evans, Squab Hall
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Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Alexandra Robinson, Wright Hassall LLP

 

 

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