THE FACT that there has not been a huge public effect from recent news that one in five meat products contains animal parts that aren’t on the label, is perhaps telling us that the Great British Public have become inured to death and destruction tabloid stories.

However, it remains worrying – given the impact of the earlier ‘horsegate’ burger scandal – in a larger sense that this is still allowed to happen.

So what do we need to do?

Any animal now entering the food chain from farms across the UK must have a passport and ID tags.

Do we really need to to the same to everything from steaks, to burgers and curries to lasagne?

Billy’s trail of destruction

IT’S BEEN a ‘you couldnae make it up’ harvest for the Laird family, from Lochhead Farm, East Wemyss.

Billy Laird has been forced by circumstances in getting away from the coos and onto a tractor seat. However, like the recalcitrant husband who smashes the dishes so that he’s never asked to do it again, Billy has been leaving a trail of destruction behind him in the field.

The reluctant driver has already crashed in a solid enough fashion to set off the fire extinguisher in the cab, which results in a grand impression of a snowman, and also a baler has suffered ‘incidental’ damage.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the family’s other business, run by his brother, Donald, wasn’t a machinery sales business. Or maybe it is!

Be inspired

Having now heard the inspirational Kiwi farmer, Doug Avery, in person – he launched his tour straight off the plane on Monday, in Edinburgh – his ‘Resilient Farmer’ tour of Scotland is not to be missed.

While a lot of Doug’s messages will be salient to those who suffer from mental health issues (even if, like him, you know something is wrong but not exactly what) then you will appreciate his sage advice. However, he’s also a farmer willing to stand up for his own industry and one of his opening gambits is to declare: ‘I am proud to be a New Zealand farmer’. Given the brickbats that have been thrown at this industry in recent times, mainly from the vegan brigade, it was good to hear such confidence. But then, as he says, even vegans have to eat!

He talked about his farming life and his struggles with the weather, mental health and the general ups and downs of farming.

But he has come through it all – he’s nearly sane! – and now presides over a farming business which turns over more than 3.5m NZD. His tour will give an insight on how he achieved a 10-fold improvement in turnover in two decades.

Catch his tour dates at and try to get along to one.

The first official date on the tour (on Thursday past, the night before Kelso) was a sell-out, so try and book ahead.