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UK Sire Services are concentrating on export orders for Australia and New Zealand in particular.

If any member has semen from their bulls that qualifies for export to these countries, that is held with UK Sire Services, and that they wish to “hitch a lift” with the consolidated shipments that they are preparing, please let them know.

It will save considerable expense by sharing transport costs with many others.

Dear stakeholder

Following on from previous emails, publicising the advice published on the TB Hub website regarding guidance on statutory TB testing of cattle herds in GB during the COVID-19 pandemic, further updates have been made to the TB Hub with dedicated pages covering:

  • Statutory TB testing of cattle herds in GB during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • TB licensing in England and Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Management of TB breakdowns in GB during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information can be found at: https://tbhub.co.uk/tb-testing-and-control-measures-in-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/ .

Defra Bovine TB Programme

At the field day at Earnscleugh Herefords during the World Hereford Conference in New Zealand's South Island, breed secretary David Deakin and president Mark Roberts were interviewed by the New Zealand Farmers Weekly.

The pair were questionned on Britain's exit from Europe, and how choosing the Hereford which could benefit producers if the government takes the expected route of linking subsidies with the environment. 

“Permanent pasture is grazed by native breeds like Herefords that produce high-quality protein from pasture, sequester carbon in the soil and do not release carbon through land being cultivated,” said Mark. 

You can read the full article here.

David Deakin (left) and Mark Roberts. Credit: New Zealand Farmers Weekly

The Hereford sired store sale on Thursday 2 April at Hereford Market will go ahead, but without the pre-sale show. 

Market staff will however be adhering to strict regulation due to the spread of COVID-19 and ask that the following information is read before entering the market. Click here for further information. 

For further details, contact Rob Meadmore on 07774 763971.

A private sale catalogue is now available containing animals which were entered for the spring show and sale. 

The catalogue features 71 entries, including 36 bulls and 35 females. Cattle are to be sold as seen. 

Click here to view the catalogue. 

Dear Stakeholder.

We have published a series of documents on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) disease control.

Summary of 2019 badger control operations 

Summary includes:

  • NE Chief Scientist’s advice on outcome of ops, including effectiveness, humaneness and safety.
  • CVO’s advice on disease control benefits (including Area 32 – Cumbria).
  • Updating min/max numbers. 
  • Data from cull areas. 

The information can be found at:


Summary of 2019 supplementary badger control operations 

Summary includes:

  • NE Chief Scientist’s advice on outcome of ops, including effectiveness, humaneness and safety.
  • CVO’s advice on disease control benefits.
  • Data from cull areas. 

The information can be found at:


LRA Epidemiology Reports 2019 

  • Descriptive reports on the epidemiology of bTB in the Low Risk (LRA). 

 The information can be found at:


 TB Surveillance in east Cumbria 

 Report on the monitoring of the culled badger populations for TB – prevalence and whole genome sequencing. 

The information can be found at:


Summary of 2019 badger vaccination operations 

  • Data on vaccination undertaken in each county.

 The information can be found at:


Six-monthly testing in Shropshire and Staffordshire

Last week we advised stakeholders that the roll out of six-monthly surveillance testing of cattle herds in Shropshire and Staffordshire from April 2020 would be kept under review in light of the developing COVID-19 situation.  To ease the burden on official veterinarians and cattle keepers we will defer roll-out until the current situation improves to the point where we have confidence that the changes are deliverable and not unduly burdensome. 

Information on TB testing during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the TB Hub at:


Thank you.

Defra Bovine TB Programme.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only. If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender. Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems. Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.

Larry Feeney, the Irish Hereford Breed Society’s secretary was elected as secretary general of the World Hereford Council at the World Hereford Conference held in New Zealand earlier this month.

Larry will lead the council for the next four years, up to the next World Hereford Conference to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, USA in July 2024. 

With over 30 years experience as breed secretary of the Irish Hereford Cattle Society, Larry has a wealth of knowledge and experience in agriculture, particularly in the pedigree breeding of Herefords. He has been a dedicated servant to the Irish Hereford Society and a great supporter of the breed in general.

The Hereford Cattle Society wishes Larry the very best of luck in his new and important role, in which he will be ably supported by the newly elected advisory and technical sub-committees.

The Society would also like to thank out-going secretary general Jose ‘Pepe’ Bonico from Uruguay for his dedication and hard work over the past eight years.

Society president Mark Roberts congratulates Larry Feeney on his appointment

Due to the coronavirus restrictions in place the Breedplan accredited scanners are not operating until further notice.

However, please send in your calving scores and any weights as per normal and we will make every effort to process them in a timely manner.

Please email performance recoding data to Tracey: Tracey.Thomas@herefordcattle.org 

Dear stakeholder.

We would like to make you aware of newly published guidance for farmers on statutory TB testing of cattle during the coronavirus pandemic. This can be accessed by clicking on the COVID-19 banner on the homepage of the TB hub website. The guidance will continue to be updated as and when more information becomes available. 

Thank you. 

Defra TB Programme

Showgoers have learnt today (Monday 23 March) that the 2020 Royal Welsh Show has been cancelled due to coronavirus and follows a string of other major show call-offs.

Other show cancellations or postponements: 

May 9 - Ayr County Show - cancelled
May 9-10 Nottinghamshire County Show, Newark - cancelled
May 13-16 Balmoral Show, Balmoral Park - postponed to August 19 - 22
May 16-17 RWAS Smallholders Festival - cancelled
May 21-23 Devon County Show, Exeter - postponed to August 28 - 30
May 23 Fife County Show, Kinloss - cancelled
May 25 Great Harwood Show, Lancashire - cancelled
May 25 Northumberland County Show, Hexham - cancelled
May 27-28 Suffolk Show, Suffolk - cancelled
May 27-28 Staffordshire County Show, Stafford - cancelled
May 28 NBA Beef Expo, Darlington - postponed
May 28-30 The Royal Bath and West Show, Somerset - postponed to July 31 - August 2
May 31 Rutland Agricultural Show, Rutland - cancelled

June 4-6 Royal Cornwall Show, Wadebridge - postponed to September 10 - 12
June 7 LEAF Open Farm Sunday, Stoneleigh - postponed to September
June 11-13 South of England Show, Ardingly - cancelled
June 12-14 Royal Three Counties Show, Malvern - cancelled
June 13 Cumberland Show, Carlisle - cancelled
June 16-17 Cheshire County Show, Knutsford - cancelled
June 18-21 Royal Highland Show, Ingliston - cancelled
June 24-25 Lincolnshire Show, Lincolnshire - cancelled

July 1-2 Royal Norfolk Show, Norwich - cancelled
July 14-16 - Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate - cancelled
July 20-23 Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells - cancelled

Great Yorkshire Show Cancelled

Tuesday 14 - Thursday 16 July 2020


Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have taken the sad but sensible decision to cancel the Great Yorkshire Show this year.

As this national crisis escalates day by day, we feel we cannot safely run the Show in 2020.  We are extremely sorry to have to announce this news and appreciate that this will disappoint everyone who loves the Show as much as we do.

We will continue to passionately support our farmers in whatever way we can, as they work hard producing our food.

We would like to thank everyone for supporting the Great Yorkshire Show and our goal is to return bigger and better next year.

We hope you and your families stay safe and well through these difficult times.

Nigel Pulling
Chief Executive
Yorkshire Agricultural Society

At 6:30am on Wednesday, we left the city of Dunedin with a population of 130,000 and headed east to the Otago Hill Country, to view a 250 cow pedigree operation and 500 commercial cattle at Stoneburn commercial stud, where the bacon and eggs were the best yet!.

After that we joined two other buses which had taken the scenic route via Oamaru, where we learnt about the little blue penguins which go into the bay to roost. You can watch them in the evenings, but sadly there was precious little time as we had the next farm to visit in the Waitiki district. We visited Merrylea, home of the McKercher family who run 260 cows alongside 2,000 breeding ewes on 720 hectares of rolling to hill country in Cave, south Canterbury.

After this, we travelled on up through the Otago province, through Pleasant Point, Temuka, and Winchester towns and towards Orari Gorge Herefords, home of Rosa, Graham, Robert and Alex Peacock. We had a stroll through their grounds and were bowled over by the beautiful rose and vegetable gardens, below the preserved farmhouse and ‘futter’ or ‘feed house’ of their ancestors, the Tripp family, who settled in these hills in the 1850s.

We were treated to a wonderful supper courtesy of the Peacock family, where humour and camaraderie remained strong despite growing uncertainty as to what the next few days had in store, due to ongoing developments regarding the Coronavirus.


As COVID-19 grasps hold of the country, a number of summer shows have announced cancellations and date changes. 

Following government advice, the Royal Three Counties Show issued its cancellation, also detailing that a number of other events at the Malvern showground will not be going ahead this year. The Royal Highand and Great Yorkshire, two of the country's biggest livestock events, have also been cancelled, causing great upset among some showgoers.

Many other shows have announced date rearrangements, rather than halting their events altogether. The National Beef Association has stated that its flagship event, Beef Expo, will be postponed to a date later this summer, rather than in May as planned.

The situation is similar for one of the summer's first shows, the Royal Ulster, which has been rescheduled to Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 August 2020.

Devon County Show joins the postponements and is now also planning an August show, giving the dates of Friday 28 to Sunday 30 August 2020.

The Society will keep members abreast of the latest news on summer shows as details are received.

We had a truly mind-boggling visit to Bill Richard’s transport museum in Invercargill, where we saw upwards of 100 Ford and Dodge vans, cars, tractors, and motorbikes, not to mention vintage shop fronts and fashion design items from local college students. Here we partied the night away and so it was with some weariness that we once again boarded the coach the next morning, bound for the famous Waikaka Hereford stud, run by Laurie and Sharon Patterson and their family.

We were greeted by a strong showing of 200 cattle, with good temperament and all-round production ability. Laurie is chair of Hereford Prime so is a strong advocate of intramuscular fat in his herd. The first rain of the trip did not dampen our enthusiasm, on what was an inspiring bunch of cattle, and a lovely little display of collector’s items in their mini museum. A picture of two forbears who had gone to war was a sobering reminder of lives cut short, and what might have been for those wonderful young men, who went off with hopes that the war would be over by Christmas.

Following this were visits to firstly Robert Kane’s beef sheep and dairy farm in West Otago, and then secondly to Limehills stud, home of Gray Pannett and family. Both men had been our guides in the North Island so those on that tour were pleased to see their farms.

Robert and his wife Mary-Anne show great farming versatility, with a mixed farm of Angus, Hereford and son Luke and his wife Nicole heading up the dairy enterprise.

The final visit of the day was to Limehills, where Gray and Robyn Pannett, and daughters Madison and Evie, run 8,000 cross-bred sheep and 1,200 cattle, 350 of which are Hereford stud cows. The family served drinks and scones while we meandered our way through some well-grown strong-looking bulls and heifers, which they had brought down off the hills that morning. Their emphasis is on breeding cattle that thrive in commercial operations. They also run an extensive AI programme, sourcing top genetics both from NZ and internationally.

A few delegates couldn’t help ribbing Gray, since he had teased some of us, and the North Islanders mercilessly the week before. He was accused of making most of the facts up about the North Island, as he only visits it under duress! He took it in good stead, allowing his wife Robyn to accept some well-deserved glory.


Bulls at Kane Farms.

After a night out on the town it was an early start for 200 or so conference delegates as we loaded onto coaches at 7:30am to set off on a winding route through the valleys towards Wanaka, 60 miles inland.

On arrival we were struck by how similar the sideshows and attractions were to our UK agricultural shows. Delineated sections for horses and showjumping, cattle lines, foodies and rural crafts and children’s play areas. 

Once Maddy had spent half an hour on the bouncy castle we were able to get to the cattle.  Wanaka is a relatively small rural show, but the number of Hereford cattle forward was considerably increased this year in order to provide a similar range of young heifers with which the Hereford Youth teams could compete.

The youth teams had already completed a fairly gruelling week, carrying out tasks such as boning out a brisket, fencing, stockjudging and reason giving, clipping, showing and a quiz.

At the show we felt the whole UK team displayed their abilities in the show ring to the absolute max. Their supporters and other country observers all congratulate them. Of course, we must say a special congratulations to James Ludgate who stood second overall in the handling class. Throughout the whole day, they displayed determination and good spirit in all they did, so we came away very proud of their efforts.