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NSA calls for urgent action to protect UK sheep industry
"There are a number of steps that are immediately essential and cannot be put off until October" - Phil Stocker, NSA.
Lamb exports account for 96 per cent of the total export market

The National Sheep Association (NSA) is calling on the government to take urgent action to protect the immediate future of the UK sheep industry.

The call comes amid rising concern over a no-deal Brexit, which the NSA has repeatedly called to be avoided. High volumes of UK lamb are currently exported to the EU, accounting for 96 per cent of the total export market.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker, said: “NSA has repeatedly called for a no-deal or disorderly Brexit to be avoided at all costs and we are hugely alarmed by the rhetoric of Boris Johnson and his new cabinet in recent days – even though this may be part of a negotiating tactic.

“Such a scenario would be disastrous for our industry at any time, but late October is when a huge peak of UK lamb will be reaching the market.”

He continued: “If in the event of a no-deal Brexit we lose EU access for UK sheepmeat, even for a few months, then a plan is needed now to ensure farming and supply chain businesses do not go under, that capacity and confidence is maintained so we can still operate once market access is restored, and that the disruption is as short-lived as possible.”

“There are a number of steps that are immediately essential and cannot be put off until October. In the event of an acrimonious no deal we could still be in a position where access to the EU is entirely closed. If not, then tariff relief is our preferred option to keep the market functioning.”

“The NSA also believes steps must be taken to temporarily close the UK to sheepmeat imports while we are unable to export and focus on getting all our production into our own domestic markets. This will not be easy given the huge volumes of lamb that are usually exported, but if plans are put in place now to invest in cold storage capacity then, using public procurement markets such as the armed forces, schools and hospitals, we can make the most of what would otherwise be a catastrophe.

“What absolutely must not be allowed to happen is a mass cull of lambs with no attempt to get them into the foodchain. This would be an obscene waste and would have future capacity impacts for our sector. It can be avoided if the right steps are taken now.”

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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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Humane Slaughter Association student scholarships open for applications

Applications for the Humane Slaughter Association’s student/trainee Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarships are now open.

The Scholarships provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to undertake a project aimed at improving the welfare of food animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student's coursework over an academic year, or during the summer break.

The deadline for applications is midnight on the 28 February 2020. To apply and for further information visit www.hsa.org.uk/grants or contact the HSA office.