Thursday 28 May 2009


There is no doubt about it - farmery folk do like to winge! This morning down at the burn side there wasn't a breath of air, and it was warm, in fact quite humid...... and yes the little blighters were out. Oh Lord! I had actually forgotten about them but I guess it is that time of year and they will be desperate for a feed. Yes, you're right - the Midge - y'see, wind has got it's uses, as has cold weather. There's just no pleasing some folk.

Midges brings me on to Bluetongue, being a member of the eu has more to answer for than you'd think as that is where the BTV8 has come from, well okay, it travelled from Africa originally but it crossed the channel a couple of years back and is now threatening British livestock.

Many in this area are vaccinating at the moment and many aren't. It is a difficult choice, no one wants to see their stock suffer but will they? That is the question.

The south was hard hit two summers ago and had to vaccinate which you would expect could create a buffer zone for the north. Last year the only bluetongue outbreaks had actually come in with imported animals from the continent, there were no cases of bluetongue caused by midges in this country. Umm, makes you think, especially as the vaccine is about 80p a head for a sheep ( although at the moment there is half price vaccine available as it is fast approaching it's use by date).

Time will tell, but I do know if farmers think their stock really are under threat then they will do something about it. In the mean time I will scratch my midge bites and contemplate. Did you know they are referred to as 'no see ems' in Canada - very aptly named!