UK: floods cause lack of water for pigs
The heaviest floods in years threaten some parts of UK livestock farming
as there is a lack of clean drinking water for the animals.
Rain has been sweeping over the country for days now, causing rivers to flood
and farmlands in the Midlands and Wales to be under feet of water, causing
damage to crops (lower grain quality) and livestock
Especially the counties of Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and
Worcestershire are suffering as a water plant is out of order - causing 200,000
people to be left without drinking water - but also pig and poultry farms in
areas that are untouched by flooding.
Brooks of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Mutual in Gloucestershire told the
English farming magazine Farmers Weekly that the lack of fresh water was
the biggest issue.
Together with Severn Trent Water, the NFU has been
arranging for mobile water tankers to go to points around the county, providing
supplies for farmers to water their livestock and wash down their milking
Allowing animals to drink flood water was not an option,
given the levels of silt, fuel, sewerage and other pollutants that had got into
it, he added.
Pigs need a lot of
water to drink
(a sow at least 20 litres/day). It is thought
the deprivation of fresh water could take until after this weekend before the
water plant is drained, cleaned and
The floods will cost farming hundreds
of millions of pounds, the NFU estimated, with little recompense from insurance
Some of the losses, such as damage to buildings and
machinery, will be covered by insurance policies, said Brooks. "But crop and
stock losses, and clearing-up costs will have to be met by the
Country land and business association president David
Fursden said government must look at its priorities between flood protection and
environmental enhancement. "Where we are prevented from cleaning out ditches and
rivers in case we disturb nesting birds, then we are clearly prejudicing our
ability to manage summer flooding," he said.
management expert and Pig Progress columnist John Gadd added, "There are
lessons we British can learn from this disaster. Money must be spent on
water plants and power stations which lie in a flood plain to have a watertight
flood defence built around them."
"And/ or that water plants must
have interconnecting pipelines to other plants outside the area so
that drinking water can be moved between them in the event of flood and
â€¢ National Farmers Union
â€¢ Severn Trent Water
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