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RSPCA warns of knock-on effect
Milk price cuts will affect dairy cow welfare

Shoppers have been urged by the RSPCA to avoid purchasing cut-price milk in the supermarkets as it could have a knock-on effect on dairy cow welfare.

From August this year, it is expected that the price farmers should expect to be paid for the milk they produce will be around 5 pence less per litre than current earnings. Some supermarkets have contracts with farmers where the price of milk is linked to the cost of production; however, those who do not will be affected the most.

The main worry for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is that the drop in price will badly impact the welfare of dairy cows.

Deputy Head of the RSPCA’s farm animal science team and former dairy herdsman, John Avizienius, said: “Although a drop in cost of milk and cheap deals might seem like great news for shoppers we are concerned that ultimately it will be cows which will pay the price.

“Farmers cannot produce milk at a loss, it’s simply not sustainable, they cannot survive like that. We are in the ridiculous situation where milk is cheaper than bottled water at some supermarkets - that simply cannot be right.

“I believe shoppers would be even happy to pay an extra one or two pence on a pint of milk if it safeguarded dairy cow welfare.”



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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.