Agriculture's farm safety record is not a thing to be proud of. One death is far too many and there have already been tragedies and many serious injuries this year thus far.

There are many stress points when accidents are more likely to occur with livestock and one of those is the necessity to tag calves before they are 20 days old (in the case of beef animals, 36 hours for dairy newborns). Now that we are out of the EU, we were told that the 'book' could be re-written on how the UK applied these rules, so maybe it's time to do just that.

Another pinch point is when animals require clipping before they go to the abattoir. Broken limbs are many and frequent from this procedure and the industry has long argued that hides could be clipped after the animal is dead and before it is split – then there is no danger to the operator, or to hygiene. Why has this not been adopted? Has it been to save costs/time at the expense of the safety of those who have to clip the animals?

Working with live and unpredictable animals is something that farmers contend with day in, day out, so if anything can be done to reduce the risk from injury, then why cannot it be par for the course?

While there might be a few grey areas when working with livestock, there are usually only very clear cut reasons for an injury when working with machinery. We hate to use the phrase 'risk assess' before doing anything with machines, but 95% of injuries are totally and utterly avoidable – but only when proper precautions have been taken.

There's a need for both livestock farmers and their workers, and those who work machinery, to take the 'risk' out of the assessment at all times. That starts with proper training and for safety on farms to be taken seriously.

World force

The UK has hosted two incoming breed 'World Congresses' this summer ­– the Shorthorn for its 200 years of having a herd book and the Charolais, for 60 years of being recognised in the UK. Both have been notable for their multi-national and cosmopolitan delegations.

Having spoken to some of them, they have been highly impressed by the professionalism and quality of UK agriculture – and not just livestock. Having said that, both crews have enjoyed the very best of the UK weather and, of course, the hospitality afforded to them during their visits.

All we can hope for is that regulatory processes will be such that a trade in genetics can be a result of this interest. There is no doubt that while some of those countries require some very different types of animals, there were some in the UK that definitely did catch their eyes. It's been a while since we have been looked upon as the 'Stock yard of the world' ... but watch this space.