Dawn Meats announce net zero commitment

Dawn Meats is to invest €100m in a new plan to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2040.

The “Plan Four Zero” project includes Dunbia, which is Dawn’s UK division, and will cover emissions across the entire red meat supply chain.

Dawn is aiming to have emissions that it creates directly, known as scope one, at net zero by 2030. Its indirect or scope two emissions, which includes the likes of bought-in electricity, will reduce by 59% by 2030.

Interestingly, the target for scope three emissions, which includes its farmer suppliers, will be based on global warming effect, with the aim of staying in line with the Paris Agreement target of a 1.5°C global temperature rise.

This suggests that targets for farmers will not be based on the flawed system of carbon dioxide equivalents, which does not accurately reflect the warming effect of methane from ruminant livestock.

“These [scope three] emissions are amongst the most difficult to combat, but industry collaboration is vital in working toward net zero,” said Gill Higgins, group sustainability director at Dawn Meats and Dunbia.

Angus to 3,300gns at Dungannon Mart

Pedigree Aberdeen Angus bulls sold to a top price of 3,300gns for Drummeer Elliott X255 from Alan Morrison, Maguiresbridge at the native breed sale held in Dungannon Mart on Tuesday.

Born May 2021, Elliott is sired by Gretnahouse Blacksmith L500 from Lana Elass N465.

Four Angus bulls were sold from a field of five with 3,200gns paid for Coltrim Ellio X681 from Ivan Forsythe, Moneymore, followed by 2,800gns for Tynan Count Dynamite X281 from Andrew Clarke, Tynan and 2,250gns for Dartrey Red Vision X904 from Hylda Mills, Scarva.

Hereford bulls peaked at 3,400gns for Solpoll 1 Voodoo from John McMordie, Ballygowan followed by 2,900gns for Benburb 1 Vinny from Alan Shaw, Benburb.

Blood test for liver fluke, say experts

The relatively dry summer has meant liver fluke burdens in livestock are extremely variable this winter, animal health experts have warned.

Professor Diana Williams of the University of Liverpool is advising farmers to blood test lambs and then use the results as an indicator of fluke burdens in older livestock groups.

“Young animals will only show a positive result if they have picked up fluke this season. They therefore act as sentinels, telling us if and when they have picked up liver fluke,” she said.

John Graham-Brown at the University of Liverpool said farmers should carry out blood tests every three or four weeks over the winter as fluke levels could rise later in the season. “A negative test does not mean you can sit back and relax,” he said.

Rebecca Mearns from the Sheep Veterinary Society points out that a negative result for liver fluke in a faecal sample test does not mean the parasite is not present. Instead, it could mean that fluke are not yet mature enough to be detected by the test.

Online sheep inventory

Sheep farmers in NI are required to complete the DAERA annual flock inventory by 30 December 2022.

The inventory should include details of the number of sheep that were on the holding between 1 and 5 December 2022.

This information must also be recorded in the on-farm flock register.

Failure to complete inventory will increase the possibility of the flock being selected for inspection.

The inventory must be completed online again this year and can be accessed via DAERA online services.