TB and Dairy

Rory Chairs NFU ConferenceHistoric outbreaks of bovine TB near Penrith are a clear warning of the devastating potential of this disease. I have seen first-hand the extreme distress and destruction that endemic TB can wreak on a farm business. The value of British farms cannot simply be measured in terms of food security – as important as this is. Farms are valuable in and of themselves and form an integral part of the fabric of British culture, heritage and history. Much more still needs to be done to ensure a fair price for farmers’ work and produce and I continue to campaign actively on this issue.

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In support of dairy farmers

Half a century of pain – with five dairy farms going out of business every week since the Second World War – has terminated in crisis. At least half of all dairy farmers are now being paid less than their cost of production, and will soon be driven – unless something changes – into bankruptcy. […]


Rory supports Cumbrian dairy farmers

Rory joined thousands of farmers from across Britain in Westminster yesterday, at a specially convened NFU ’emergency summit’ to discuss the latest rounds of dairy price cuts affecting the liquid milk industry, and hundreds of farmers in Penrith and the Border. Rory said: “I am here to represent the many hard-working dairy farmers of Penrith […]

Update on Bovine TB

Handling my father’s cows reminded me of what political choice is really like. We were trying to get an enraged and terrified young Highland bull into a cattle crush. Its predecessor had gone in the first time. But this one kept breaking free.  When he was almost trapped he retreated and bucked, roared and rolled, […]


Local farmers pilot stock movement App in latest broadband initiative

In the latest chapter of his campaign to improve super-fast and mobile broadband for Cumbria, Rory in conjunction with Terry Canning of farming software company FarmWizard has secured a new mobile phone application trial for Penrith and the Border’s dairy farmers. FarmWizard, who have been developing cloud-computing solutions for livestock dairy farmers since 2004, will […]

Rory Champions Lead Health Status for Cumbria at NFU Conference

  Rory pressed for a radical change in approach to animal health, including annual testing for bovine TB, and a new Cumbrian pilot in an address at the NFU Conference  in Birmingham on 22 February. The comments were made during a discussion on the future of farming, talking alongside parliamentary colleagues Jamie Reed MP and […]

Rory meets with Minister for Agriculture

Rory has spoken with Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice to discuss the potential impact on Penrith and the Border of the successor to the Rural Development Regulation, following Defra’s recent publication of a discussion paper on the EU Commission’s regulatory proposals for Common Agricultural Policy reform post-2013. Rory believes that the […]

support for a ‘supermarket ombudsman’

Following the success of the recent Fairtrade conference at Rheged earlier this month – in which Rory committed to sponsoring events in Parliament to raise awareness of the need for fairer deals for farmers in the retail supply chain – Rory has announced a parliamentary event to support a grocery adjudicator. Also know as a […]

rory presents vision for prosperous rural communities in parliament

Rory has spoken in an Opposition Day debate in Parliament on environmental protection and green growth, presenting his vision for “prosperous, vibrant rural communities”. In a speech covering issues of affordable housing, rural broadband and mobile coverage, and bovine TB prevention measures, Rory set out a template for the development of sustainable rural communities, arguing […]


A farm that has lost its herd to bovine TB has been hit by an earthquake. The shocked family in the empty yard will remember all their cows –  often a lifetime’s work of genetics and breeding that they have nurtured, tended and milked from well before dawn, every day of the year – now slaughtered […]

single farm payments

  Rory called yesterday in Parliament for more vigorous lobbying for British farmers in Europe in the next round of Common Agricultural Policy negotiations. In a Westminster Hall debate, the local MP highlighted the importance of payments to farmers in order to protect food production and ensure the survival of hill farming communities. He said Britain needed to intensify its diplomatic […]