Dog at Doggy Daycare - Pet Sector Provides Diversification Opportunity for Landowners

Lucrative opportunities for landowners seeking to diversify can be found in the UK’s fast-growing pet sector. The industry is experiencing significant growth with projections suggesting it will be worth in the region of £2.1bn by 2023.

The rise of doggy day care in the UK over the past five years has played a large part in this. Something recognised by DEFRA following the introduction of a national licencing scheme as part of their Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) regulations in October 2018.

What is doggy day care?

Two pigs on a farm - new animal and plant health safety rules coming into force

Preparations required by UK businesses have been set out ahead of imminent new regulations aimed at modernising protections against animal diseases and plant pests as well as improving food safety.
In-line with our commitment to maintaining high standards of biosecurity, the UK will implement EU Smarter rules for safer food (SRSF) regulations from 11pm on Friday 13 December 2019.
The package will modernise, simplify and improve existing health and safety standards for the agri-food chain. It will take a risk-based approach to animal, plant and public health protection, introducing more efficient pest and disease control measures.

Piglets after having Veterinary Antibiotics

 Sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals have reduced by 53% in just four years between 2014 – 2018, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) confirmed.
Antibiotic resistance - otherwise known as antimicrobial resistance or AMR - is one of the most pressing global challenges we face this century. AMR, as set out by the World Health Organisation, is the ability of some bacteria to stop antimicrobials from working against them meaning that certain treatments could become ineffective, enabling infections to persist and potentially spread with damaging consequences.

White horses drinking water by a pond
The Government has issued updated guidance for owners of horses, ponies and other equines on the preparations they need to make in the event of a no deal Brexit.   The guidance published is designed to give the owners of horses and other equine animals as much time to prepare for these new processes and factor in any extra travel time they may require when travelling to and from the EU.   
The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October whatever the circumstances.
The guidance will help owners to navigate the new processes for moving horses and other equine animals from the UK to EU member states.    It will also apply to those owners that currently move their animals between the UK, Ireland and France under the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) – an agreement relied on by many in the horseracing industry and the competition sector.                  
Pigs at Hogwood Farm

Animal welfare group Viva! have announced that supermarket giant Tesco has dropped Hogwood Farm as a supplier, following a third investigation by Viva! Earlier this week, Red Tractor suspended Hogwood’s certification in response to the hidden camera footage obtained by Viva!  

Viva! have published disturbing undercover footage taken inside Hogwood Pig Farm in Warwickshire. The footage shows systematic animal abuse and extreme cases of animal suffering, including piglets being roughly handled and hit by farm workers and one pig being brutally attacked and bitten by others.   

This investigation is the third consecutive investigation of Hogwood Farm. In previous years, Hogwood hit the headlines with cases of severe overcrowding, pigs covered in excreta, and barren, filthy conditions and dead pigs left to rot amongst the living. Most shockingly, one piglet was being eaten alive. 

Arla farmer in field

Farmer-owned dairy cooperative launches Project Pollinator as part of Arla UK 360 research and development programme

A group of farmers from the Arla Foods dairy cooperative have launched a trial initiative to see whether their efforts for environmentally friendly dairy farming can be broadened to help increase wild bee populations given the crucial role they play in supporting our ecosystems.

The news follows the recent UN report which revealed 1 million animal species are at risk of extinction globally. Of these species, a further report found pollinators, in particular some bees, have been in steady decline, with an average of 11 species lost in every square kilometre in the UK between 1980 and 2013.

Rebecca Storey, from specialist country and equestrian store Houghton Country

Horses can be rather hardy animals, but they’re susceptible to a few cuts and scrapes now and then. Rebecca Storey, from specialist country and equestrian store Houghton Country, told us what essentials you need for treating minor horse wounds.

Flock of sheep listening to music

A luxury bed-maker which owns a 300-acre farm producing natural bedding materials has struck a creative note to enhance mattress comfort – it has discovered that playing music to its flock of sheep softens their wool, creating a more sumptuous bedding material. 

 Researchers at Harrison Spinks, a 179-year-old family business which employs 600 people in Yorkshire, found that music naturally increases the levels of lanolin produced by the sheep resulting in a thicker, more luxurious wool.

 The company, which has installed speakers across its farm near Bolton Percy in North Yorkshire, is now looking at different musical genres to see if it can pinpoint the best performing tracks for maximum lanolin production.

Drusilla Park new calves which need a name

Drusillas Park in East Sussex has welcomed two beautiful Jersey calves to their farm, harking back to a time nearly 100 years ago when the land was the site of a working farm.

The two girls were born on 16th and 17th November and have recently joined the farm at Drusillas Park where visitors can see them in the farmyard – but the girls are in need of names. Zookeepers are inviting suggestions that represent their beauty, including their big eyes and gorgeously long eyelashes.

Zoo business manager Sue Woodgate said: “We are so

Young farmers of the future learn from novel addition to Fallen Stock Collection System…

A group of level 3 agriculture students from Northumberland College have recently witnessed an animal autopsy to learn essential livestock techniques to help their studies and future farming careers.


The twelve students, aged between 17 and 20 years old, attended the workshop located at the Warrens Group fallen stock collection centre in County Durham. The autopsy event was delivered by leading vet, Ben Strugnell, of Farm Post Mortems Ltd.


Mr Strugnell is a pivotal player in the livestock community as he devised a novel addition to the Fallen Stock Collection System, where farmers are offered autopsies on their deceased cattle [fallen stock] with the essential results enabling them to better understand the cause of death and help protect their remaining stock.

A farmer lambing

Calling all tractor fanatics and animal lovers – a working farm in north Cornwall is inviting aspiring young farmers to experience farming life for a weekend during the early lambing season.

From mid-November to mid-December, guests at The Olde House, near Polzeath in north Cornwall, can join the farm team on a Saturday and Sunday to help in the lambing shed, feed the ewes, check on the newborn lambs and perhaps even witness some being born.

There will also be opportunities to help care for kunekune pigs, chickens and guinea pigs in pets’ corner.

Jaime Hawkey, manager at The Olde House, commented: “We feel so lucky to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and lovely animals, and want to help instil this passion in the next generation by providing a space for children to learn about the farming process and ask all the questions they’ve always wanted to.”

Alpaca Farm diversification

Two alpaca farmers from Ilfracombe have transformed a disused, centuries-old threshing barn into luxury, disabled-friendly holiday accommodation.

Thought to be one of very few bespoke disabled-friendly holiday lets of its size in the country, Kate and Simon Brookes turned their empty stone barn into luxury holiday accommodation with the help of just one labourer.

The property has been awarded the highest level of accessibility standard by Visit Britain and a 4* gold quality award rating.