An interesting piece from the BBC Future Planet section on the importance of death in a natural environment

martian

DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
Location
N Herts
Derek Gow, the beaver man, has built a ten foot high platform on his farm which he stocks with carcasses. I was reading about this recently, I can't think where, but he gets amazing bird activity and even the odd vulture. Presumably the sky tomb is ok as it won't frighten the ramblers or pass on disease, but you miss out so much of the extra insect interest by not having the carcass interacting with the soil. Makes so much sense to let nature work it's magic with our fallen stock, rather than pay the knacker man to dispose of it. I look forward to a change in the rules...
 

Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
My thoughts...

How did we reach this point?

We need studies and experiments to see what happens to carcasses left outside?

Aren't we clever? we can make nature work better by conducting studies, proving theories and experimenting with novel and forward thinking ideas.

I suppose it just shows how removed from reality so many people are, or perhaps how removed their reality is from the environment they depend on for their very existence.
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
The removal of carcasses and abolition of on-farm burying was a response to the concern about BSE getting into water supplies.
1. BSE is no longer an issue
2. Most water supplies come from reservoirs in the hills well above most dead stock apart from areas in England which use acquifer
We had a ewe die on a Thursday in the heatwave, no obvious reason for it but by the time knackery came on the Monday it was just a crawling mass of maggots after the crows has started on their share. If we left more dead sheep around then the predators may leave more of the wildlife alone.
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I sell meat to a lady who is rewilding her small farm. She was saying she would like to be able to leave a carcass or 2 around.
She also wants to be able to graze cattle in perhaps a mob grazing style, but feels movement licensing is against her, as well as finding a farmer with the right mindset to graze in the way she wants, and type of grass she has.
 

Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
Fair enough but you can’t do that if you are getting animals killed by euthanasia injection .
Agreed, all animals that require to be euthanised could, and should be dispatched without contaminating the carcass. There's no good reason to use cocktails of various drugs to dispatch animals, it is sometimes stated to be the most humane way to euthanise, but it's obviously just a less traumatic and less messy method for the squeamish humans witnessing it, it is of no consequence to the animal killed.
 
Location
Devon
I think Red Tractor has a lot to answer for in this respect.
It isn't about assurance anymore but sanitising nature so that it is acceptable for a modern world that has lost its grasp on reality.
Even if the law was changed to allow for natural carcass disposal which would benefit the environment, there is no way RT would allow it. Many of their requirements are contrary to sustainability and enhancing nature.
 
Derek Gow, the beaver man, has built a ten foot high platform on his farm which he stocks with carcasses. I was reading about this recently, I can't think where, but he gets amazing bird activity and even the odd vulture. Presumably the sky tomb is ok as it won't frighten the ramblers or pass on disease, but you miss out so much of the extra insect interest by not having the carcass interacting with the soil. Makes so much sense to let nature work it's magic with our fallen stock, rather than pay the knacker man to dispose of it. I look forward to a change in the rules...

They do that at the red kite centres too

After scavengers, the best place to put dead animals is in the muck heap for a year and then through the spreader
 
Err, carcasses rotting on the ground, consumed by scavengers, insects & microbes, IS the natural way of things . . .

since time began
When I worked in WA, my employers wife said they had had visitors from Perth, and she was embarrassed every paddock they went into there were dead sheep lying around rotting!
 
My thoughts...

How did we reach this point?

We need studies and experiments to see what happens to carcasses left outside?

Aren't we clever? we can make nature work better by conducting studies, proving theories and experimenting with novel and forward thinking ideas.

I suppose it just shows how removed from reality so many people are, or perhaps how removed their reality is from the environment they depend on for their very existence.
I have said, every society or culture has it's own subjects that are taboo, the Victorians, it was sex, with us now, we are happy to discuss everything sexual but our taboo is death, everything is sanitised and death removed for sight.

We had a vet here years ago, and as we were washing out boots she was telling me, when she grew up, every dead sheep on the farm she did an autopsy on (my daughter was thinking of becoming a vet at that stage and she was doing the same, out in the shed with a microscope!). This conversation was fresh in my mind, as I was visiting universities with my son, and I was chatting to a couple of parents, and I said something like my daughter wanted to be a vet (before she chose zoology) and was always cutting up dead sheep, they started to back away from me in fright as if I was some sort of serial killer or Appalachian hill billy who lived on road kill!!
 
Agreed, all animals that require to be euthanised could, and should be dispatched without contaminating the carcass. There's no good reason to use cocktails of various drugs to dispatch animals, it is sometimes stated to be the most humane way to euthanise, but it's obviously just a less traumatic and less messy method for the squeamish humans witnessing it, it is of no consequence to the animal killed.
I was talking to one vet about euthanising animals, and before she came to this practice, she had never used drugs, always a gun, I have a leaflet from the humane slaughter society here somewhere and they recommend a shotgun as being the most humane method (that is relatively easy to use), any sheep that need euthanising here, shotgun
 
UK society is just too removed from the reality of life & death & just full of soft côcks . . .
I am not only a farmer, but have also worked in a funeral home & currently with local council & one of my duties is looking after cemeteries & being responsible for burials
The UK attitude to death - of humans or “animals” ( that I’ve experienced on TFF at least ) is very childish & naive ive found . . .
 

crofteress

Member
Livestock Farmer
Agreed, all animals that require to be euthanised could, and should be dispatched without contaminating the carcass. There's no good reason to use cocktails of various drugs to dispatch animals, it is sometimes stated to be the most humane way to euthanise, but it's obviously just a less traumatic and less messy method for the squeamish humans witnessing it, it is of no consequence to the animal killed.
well actually I would tend not to agree with you on that . If its a choice between waiting for a knackerman to come and use a stun gun and pitthing or using the vet who happens to be there at the tine to do it quickly Id go for the latter on welfare grounds, Not everyone has a gun though would use a gun over the jag if available. Also if you bury an animal you are returning to the soil a portion of the moisture/ minerals and organic matter the animal took out of the soil. We can still bury here where I live
 

Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
well actually I would tend not to agree with you on that . If its a choice between waiting for a knackerman to come and use a stun gun and pitthing or using the vet who happens to be there at the tine to do it quickly Id go for the latter on welfare grounds, Not everyone has a gun though would use a gun over the jag if available. Also if you bury an animal you are returning to the soil a portion of the moisture/ minerals and organic matter the animal took out of the soil. We can still bury here where I live

Anybody can purchase a stun gun and a sharp knife. If you breed livestock then you are responsible for the lives you have created, In my opinion you should also be capable of taking responsibility for their deaths.

We can still bury here, but many flocks are run on extensive hill ground where animals may die and occasionally their carcasses are not found for some time. Also the hills are home to red deer, whose carcasses can sometimes be stumbled upon. Whilst burying or leaving on the surface may both end up with the entire carcass eventually returning to the soil. I know which scenario is the quickest and most beneficial to the wider flora and fauna.
 

Top cereal and oilseed growers honoured at the Yield Enhancement Network Awards 2021

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Despite an average growing year for most crops, many growers managed to go above and beyond their predicted max yields, with Lincolnshire grower Tim Lamyman taking the top spots for his wheat yields and his world record breaking winter barley yield.

The highest cereal and oilseed yields achieved at harvest 2021 were announced at this year’s Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) Awards on Wednesday 24th November at the Croptec Show. With award presentations by Tom Bradshaw, Vice President of NFU, 24 farms took home the evening’s top awards for highest yield and highest potential yield achieved for wheat, winter and spring barley, oats, and oilseed. The 2021 winners came from all corners of the UK, as well as from as far afield as Finland and New Zealand.

Familiar names from 2020 made the...
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