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Project to increase resilience of dairy industry
The N8 AgriFood programme is one of five projects being funded by the UK’s Global Food Security programme.
N8 AgriFood to look at animal health in a post-Brexit UK

A major project that aims to make the UK dairy industry more sustainable and resilient has been launched.

The N8 AgriFood programme will look at issues around environmental impact, animal health and farmer incomes in a post-Brexit UK.

Incorporating researchers from the Universities of Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool, the project is being funded through the UK’s Global Food Security programme. It will involve collaboration with a range of stakeholders in the dairy industry, including FirstMilk.

“We are very excited about this project. It builds on the University of Liverpool’s strengths in food systems, infectious diseases and socio-economics,” said professor Diana Williams from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health.

“We will work with dairy farmers to investigate the relationship between managing the environment and changing disease risk while improving dairy sector resilience, to maintain long-term milk supplies for consumers at reasonable prices.”

Professor Mark Reed, who is leading the project from the University of Newcastle, added: “The project is about balancing competing demands and pressures in the industry.

“We aim to explore innovative ways of making dairy systems better for the natural environment and for farmers’ livelihoods, while maintaining long-term supplies for consumers at reasonable prices, at a time of unpredictable challenges like climate change.”

The N8 AgriFood programme is one of five projects being funded by the UK’s Global Food Security programme.

The projects bring together researchers and food producers, manufacturers and retailers working in several areas; from understanding the role of phosphorus as a key nutrient in crop and livestock production to better understanding of how different landscapes affect crop-pollinating insects.

For more information about the projects, visit foodsecurity.ac.uk

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."