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Skema Pemantauan Scrapie Anda mungkin pernah mendengar bahwa perubahan sedang terjadi dengan Scrapie Monitoring Scheme sebagai hasil dari amandemen peraturan UE. Saya telah meringkas ini di bawah ini. Kami telah memperbarui peraturan dan ketentuan skema SMS dan Anda dapat melihatnya di sheepandgoathealth.co.uk Saya juga ingin memanfaatkan kesempatan ini untuk memberi tahu Anda bahwa beberapa kawanan SMS kehilangan status berharga mereka karena tidak mematuhi peraturan. Alasan umum untuk kerugian tersebut dijelaskan di bawah ini. SMS - Alasan umum hilangnya status Pembelian Ram dari kawanan non-SMS. Hanya seekor domba jantan dengan genotipe ARRARR scrapie yang diizinkan untuk bergabung dengan kawanan SMS dari kawanan non-SMS. Peternak dianjurkan untuk domba genotipe sebelum dijual karena yang terbaik adalah anggota SMS membeli ram dengan genotipe ARRARR daripada mengambil spekulasi pada pembelian yang ternyata bukan ARRARR. Jika Anda telah menggunakan ram di kawanan domba Anda yang berasal dari kawanan non-SMS dan tidak memiliki genotipe ARRARR scrapie, semuanya sudah terlambat. P urchase of Females dari kelompok non-SMS. Jika Anda ingin membeli dari kawanan non-SMS pastikan bahwa pembelian adalah genotipe ARRARR. Pembelian betina di-lamb pada penjualan yang tidak terpisah. Sangat sedikit penjualan (yang diadakan dari tanggal 1 sampai 30 April) berlaku untuk segregasi. Sebagai konsekuensinya, setiap saham yang dibeli pada penjualan ini digolongkan sebagai non-SMS, kecuali status ARRARR. Kawanan pembelian saham pada penjualan ini akan kehilangan status SMS. Kawanan saham untuk penjualan ini akan kehilangan status mereka jika stok yang tidak terjual dikembalikan ke rumah. Ada banyak penjualan hewan domba pada akhir musim gugur. Pembelian pada penjualan ini dapat membahayakan status kawanan Anda. Pastikan Anda tidak termasuk dalam kategori di atas. Dapatkah saya juga mengingatkan Anda sebagai anggota SMS bahwa ALL FALLEN STOCK harus diajukan untuk pengujian. Salam Ian Pritchard Manajer PSGHS Mengubah peraturan UE, mulai 1 Juli 2013, membawa persyaratan perdagangan UE lebih sesuai dengan World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Untuk menunjukkan kebebasan Scrapie, periode pengintaian yang meningkat selama tujuh tahun sekarang ditambahkan dan dibutuhkan di beberapa negara. Akan ada 2 kategori status untuk anggota SMS. 1) Resiko yang Diabaikan - ini setara dengan Scrapie gratis dan untuk flockherds menunjukkan kepatuhan setidaknya selama 7 tahun. Gerakan domba dan kambing (dan embryossemen mereka) ke 4 negara anggota (lihat di bawah) dengan program pengendalian yang disetujui hanya dapat berlangsung dari kepemilikan dengan status ini. Beberapa negara Amerika Selatan juga menetapkan hewan dengan status Risk yang Diabaikan. 2) Risiko Terkendali - adalah kebebasan minimal selama 3 tahun dan ditujukan untuk semua negara anggota lainnya yang tidak memiliki program pengendalian scrapie yang disetujui. Ini mirip dengan situasi saat ini. Kawanan risiko terkontrol dapat mencapai status risiko yang tidak dapat diabaikan setelah dipantau selama 7 tahun. T: Mengapa perubahan ini telah diperkenalkan A: Meluruskan peraturan UE di wilayah ini dengan yang direkomendasikan oleh Organisasi Kesehatan Hewan Dunia (OIE), terutama untuk memungkinkan Negara-negara Anggota (MS) yang dianggap sebagai Risiko yang Diabaikan atau memiliki National Scrapie yang disetujui Control Program untuk melindungi status mereka hanya dengan membiarkan hewan ovinecapine dengan status kesehatan yang sama. T: Kapan perubahan ini mulai berlaku A: Perubahan ini mulai berlaku mulai 1 Juli 2013. T: Adakah masa transisi A: Ya. T: Apa masa transisi ini A: Periode peralihan hanya berkaitan dengan bagaimana asal mula klasifikasi diklasifikasikan dalam hal risiko scrapie klasik. Sampai dengan tanggal 31 Desember 2014 bukti Controlled andor Diabaikan Risiko dapat diberikan dengan rute selain keanggotaan skema yang disetujui pemerintah. Namun, dari 1 Januari 2015, harus melalui skema seperti itu, di Inggris, adalah Scrapie Monitoring Scheme (SMS). SMS disediakan oleh SAC Consulting: Domba Premium dan Skema Kesehatan Kambing (PSGHS). SAC Consulting adalah bagian dari Scotlandrsquos Rural College (SRUC). T: Apa yang perlu dilakukan untuk mendapatkan angka Keterlambatan Status A: Kriteria secara luas setara dengan yang dilakukan untuk pembentukan bebas scrapie seperti yang direkomendasikan dalam Kode Kesehatan Hewan Terestrial OIE - yaitu demonstrasi kebebasan dari scrapie klasik setidaknya selama 7 tahun . Gerakan domba dan kambing untuk pembibitan dan penggemukan ke Negara-negara Anggota dengan program kontrol nasional yang disetujui untuk scrapie klasik (saat ini Austria, Denmark, Finlandia dan Swedia) hanya dapat berlangsung dari kepemilikan yang memiliki status seperti kecuali mereka adalah genotipe ARRARR (dan memberikan Memegang tidak berada di bawah larangan klasik terkait scrapie resmi). Hal ini sesuai dengan yang berikut: Sertifikasi yang memverifikasi bahwa domba tersebut adalah protein genotipe IgE lsquoARRARR dan sertifikasi yang dikeluarkan oleh laboratorium yang telah disetujui yang menguji domba dan, pada saat pengujian, dilakukan baik sebagai bagian dari National Scrapie Plan (NSP) di Inggris Raya (sekarang ditutup) atau Rencana Scrapie Irlandia Utara atau Pengujian dilakukan oleh AHVLA atau SAC Consulting: Layanan Veteriner berdasarkan persyaratan skema yang disetujui ekspor mereka. Genotip yang disetujui ekspor hanya dapat dilakukan oleh Layanan Kesehatan Hewan AHVLA atau SAC. Petugas Dokter Spesialis Bersertifikat (OV) harus yakin bahwa identifikasi domba individu berkorelasi dengan informasi laboratorium yang berkaitan dengan hasil genotip. Cellmark tidak lagi melakukan pengujian genotipe scrapie. T: Apa yang perlu dilakukan untuk mendapatkan status Controlled Risk A: Ini mencerminkan status quo (demonstrasi kebebasan dari scrapie klasik setidaknya selama tiga tahun). T: Dapatkah Anda melakukan perdagangan di dalam UE untuk domba dan kambing dan air mancur mereka jika Anda tidak berada di SMS A: Bukan dari 1 Januari 2015 karena, sejak saat itu, Anda harus berada dalam SMS jika Anda ingin berdagang di dalam UE dengan domba Dan kambing dan air mani mereka. Satu-satunya pengecualian adalah ARRARR domba (dan air mancur mereka). T: Jika seekor kawanan telah memenuhi persyaratan untuk SMS, misalnya 5 atau 6 tahun, (dan mendekati Status Riskrdquo yang ldquoNegligible) seandainya mereka hanya membeli hewan dari kawanan dengan kepatuhan yang sama atau lebih lama A: Ya. Agar seekor kawanan dapat mencapai atau mempertahankan status Resiko yang Diabaikan, maka semua hewan yang dibeli diperoleh dari kawanan SMS lain yang memiliki (1) status Resiko yang tidak dapat diabaikan, atau (2) berasal dari genotipe ARRARR dan bukan dari kelompok sasaran yang dikenai pembatasan scrapie. Jika membeli dari Resiko Terkendali harus berhati-hati agar memastikan bahwa kawanan domba telah dipantau setidaknya dalam jumlah tahun yang sama. Jika hal ini tidak terjadi maka progress ke status Risk diabaikan akan tertunda. T: Jika saya bukan anggota SMS tapi sekarang ingin bergabung untuk berdagang di dalam UE pada domba dan kambing dan air mani mereka apa yang harus saya lakukan A: Dianjurkan untuk bergabung dengan SMS. Silahkan hubungi kantor Domba Kambing dan Kambing Sehat (PSGHS) di 01463 226995 atau di psghssac.co.uk jika Anda saat ini bukan anggota SMS. T: Jika Anda memiliki pertanyaan mengenai bagaimana perubahan ini akan dikelola, siapa yang harus Anda hubungi A: Jika Anda adalah anggota SMS saat ini (atau berniat untuk bergabung di masa depan sebelum 1 Januari 2015), hubungi Kesehatan Domba dan Kambing Premium Skema (PSGHS) di 01463 226995 atau di psghssac.co.uk untuk setiap pertanyaan yang Anda miliki tentang bagaimana perubahan ini akan dikelola untuk anggota SMS. T: Jika Anda memiliki kueri umum mengenai ekspor yang harus Anda hubungi A: Hubungi tim ekspor di AHVLA Carlisle di 01228 403600 jika Anda memiliki kueri umum sehubungan dengan perubahan ini. T: Berapa banyak saham yang jatuh harus saya uji A: Aturan baru menyatakan SEMUA FALLEN STOCK. Akibatnya, ini adalah hewan, berusia di atas 18 bulan, sekarat saat memegangnya. Itu tidak termasuk binatang yang masuk ke dalam rantai makanan. Ada penghinaan terhadap ternak kambing karena tidak berlaku untuk hewan yang dimusnahkan pada akhir masa kerja mereka. T: Di mana saya mengirim saham jatuh A: Ini harus dikirim ke Konsultasi SAC setempat: Pusat Pelayanan Veteriner atau pusat lokal AHVLA. Tanggung jawabnya adalah pada Anda untuk mendapatkan persediaan yang telah jatuh - akan dikenakan biaya untuk hal ini. Mengirimkan koper ke knackeries, hunt kennels, dll tidak memenuhi peraturan SMS. T: Dimana saya bisa melihat daftar anggota SMS saat ini A: Silakan lihat di psghs.co.uk. Jika nama Anda tidak ada dalam daftar silahkan hubungi PSGHS di 01463 226995 atau di psghssac.co.uk. Daftar yang dipublikasikan hanya akan mencakup produsen yang telah memberi wewenang PSGHS untuk mempublikasikan detailnya. Daftar ini akan mengidentifikasi risiko dan kepemilikan risiko yang dapat diabaikan. Defra dan AHVLA dikeluarkan dengan daftar update bulanan. Q Dimana saya bisa melihat peraturan dan ketentuan Scrapie Monitoring Scheme (SMS) A: sheepandgoathealth.co.uk Asosiasi Peternak Domba Shropshire berafiliasi dengan Asosiasi Domba Nasional 23 Januari 2015 SEMUA SET UNTUK WILAYAH NSA CENTER WINTER FAIR: Dengan kurang dari Minggu sebelum pergi ke NSA Central Region Winter Fair, semua sistem menghadiri acara pada hari Kamis 29 Januari 2015 di Bakewell Mart, Derbyshire. Anda dapat menemukan semua hal yang perlu diketahui tentang acara ini dan mengunduh Panduan Acara di sini. Mengomentari acara tersebut, Alastair Sneddon, mitra senior untuk NSA Central Region Winter Fair menjadi tuan rumah Bagshaws, mengatakan. Karyawan perlu melakukan semua yang mereka bisa untuk melindungi bisnis mereka dari faktor-faktor yang tidak dapat mereka kendalikan. Penting untuk pertahanan apa pun adalah pengetahuan terakhir, dan saya yakin bahwa menghabiskan satu hari di NSA Central Region Winter Fair akan membuat Anda mendapat manfaat yang baik dan memberikan transfusi penting atas informasi teknis dan politik.rdquo Masuk ke NSA Central Region Winter Fair GRATIS untuk anggota Sebarkan berita tersebut, karena jika Anda mengajak teman atau tetangga yang saat ini bukan anggota NSA dan mereka mendaftar pada hari mereka akan mendapatkan uang masuk mereka dikembalikan dan Anda KEDUA dimasukkan ke dalam undian hadiah untuk memenangkan pembaca tongkat Shearwell EID Kit. Kembali ke atas NSA NEXT GENERATION AMBASSADOR GROUP 2015 CONFIRMED: Minggu ini melihat akhir proses seleksi yang panjang dan sulit untuk Grup NSA Next Generation Ambassador 2015. Word telah menyebarkan kesuksesan program ini tahun lalu dan kami kewalahan dengan aplikasi berkualitas terbaik kali ini, menjadikannya pekerjaan yang sulit bagi staf NSA dan komite regional untuk memilih hanya 12 orang untuk kelompok terakhir. Semua pemohon sekarang telah dihubungi untuk mengkonfirmasi jika mereka mendapatkan tempat atau tidak dan kami berharap dapat berbagi jadwal akhir awal minggu depan. Kembali ke atas NSA PROMOTES INTEGRAL PERAN PERTANIAN UPLAND SHEEP PADA FORUM PENELITIAN: NSA mendapat kesempatan untuk mengikuti lokakarya ilmu pengetahuan di dataran tinggi di Cardiff pada hari Kamis, di mana peneliti dari berbagai disiplin ilmu (ilmu sosial, tanah, air dan pertanian ) Bertemu untuk membahas pekerjaan yang sedang dilakukan dan kebutuhan masa depan untuk perbukitan dan dataran tinggi Wales. Phil Stocker, Chief Executive NSA, diundang untuk berbicara di workshop tentang masa depan ternak di perbukitan dan dataran tinggi. Dia melaporkan: ldquoKami tahu tentang keterkaitan pertanian, lingkungan, sumber daya alam dan masyarakat kita, dan menyegarkan untuk melihat ilmuwan dan peneliti yang meliput semua bidang ini berkumpul. Tema yang umum adalah kebutuhan akan penelitian holistik dan keterkaitan program penelitian, misalnya menghubungkan pekerjaan pada kemiskinan di Wales, atau pengelolaan lahan gambut, dengan bekerja pada intensifikasi produksi pangan secara berkelanjutan. Meskipun sangat menyenangkan untuk mengetahui banyak pekerjaan yang dilakukan, juga jelas bahwa masih banyak yang masih perlu kami ketahui dan yang menarik bahwa pembekuan yang menghalangi di lahan gambut untuk mengurangi gambut, dengan harapan bahwa Itu akan mengurangi output metana, sebenarnya menunjukkan peningkatan output metana. Saya memiliki kesempatan untuk membuat kasus bagaimana peternakan ternak pusat adalah untuk menjaga dataran tinggi agar sebagian besar masyarakat ingin melihat mereka, dan pertanian sensitif dan tradisional di dataran tinggi memberikan banyak manfaat bagi masyarakat yang masih belum diperhitungkan. dari. Menurut saya ada banyak hal yang bisa dilakukan di daerah pedalaman untuk benar-benar meningkatkan kontribusinya terhadap ketahanan pangan meski tidak hanya menjaga tapi memperbaiki lingkungan kita. Sebaliknya, ada beberapa bukti bahwa kebijakan masa lalu tidak hanya mengurangi produktivitas namun juga menurunkan beberapa ekologi dataran tinggi kita pada saat yang bersamaan. Kembali ke atas RENCANA PENCEGAHAN PENYAKIT BERDASARKAN PEMBAHASAN DI SCOTLAND: Kehadiran pertemuan pemangku kepentingan Kesehatan dan Kesejahteraan masyarakat minggu ini di Edinburgh terbukti penting. , Karena sekarang terlihat seperti satu atau dua penyakit domba dapat ditargetkan oleh kelompok industri dan pemerintah bersama untuk melihat rencana pengurangan atau eradiasi utama, serupa dengan apa yang telah berlangsung di BVD pada ternak di Skotlandia. George Milne, Pejabat Pembangunan Wilayah Skotlandia NSA, menghadiri pertemuan tersebut dan menyarankan agar mulai melihat penyakit domba untuk mengidentifikasi salah satu yang dapat mengikuti skema serupa dengan BVD. Idenya disambut oleh Pemerintah Skotlandia dan pemangku kepentingan lainnya, dan pertemuan lain akan diadakan dalam waktu dekat ketika George akan dapat berbagi pandangan tentang Wilayah Skotlandia NSA setelah diskusi di lain waktu mereka berkumpul. Kembali ke atas PEMBACAAN BARU UNTUK MENINGKATKAN PELUANG PERDAGANGAN DENGAN CHINA: Sebuah perjalanan ke China oleh Menteri Luar Negeri Inggris Liz Truss telah ditindaklanjuti dengan pengumuman posisi baru Penasihat Pertanian dan Makanan Inggris yang berbasis di China untuk melanjutkan peluang perdagangan di masa depan. . Ini adalah investasi besar oleh Pemerintah Inggris dan uang pungutan kami sendiri melalui AHDB, dan untuk pertama kalinya akan melihat seorang individu yang bertanggung jawab untuk membantu perusahaan-perusahaan Inggris memanfaatkan minat Chinarsquos pada produk dan makanan khusus. Peran tersebut telah terisi oleh Karen Morgan, yang saat ini memimpin tim pertanian kompetitif Defrarsquos dan akan memainkan peran baru di Beijing pada musim semi ini. Phil Stocker, Chief Executive NSA, berkomentar: ldquo Kami sangat menyambut baik penciptaan peran baru ini dan, dari apa yang saya lihat dalam perjalanan saya ke China tahun lalu, ini adalah langkah penting jika kita ingin memanfaatkan pasar yang semakin berkembang ini. Kami masih jauh dari mengamankan akses langsung ke China untuk daging domba, dan untuk memiliki seseorang yang berbasis di sana dan bekerja untuk kami pasti akan membantu membuka jalan. Ini adalah investasi besar tapi harus menggunakan dana retribusi yang menuai reward pada waktunya.rdquo Anda bisa membaca pengumuman dari Defra tentang posisi baru di sini. Kembali ke atas WAKTU SEDERHANA UNTUK JAMINAN TRAKTOR RED: Mengikuti informasi dalam minggu lalu tentang Update Patroli NSA di Devon minggu depan, dua pertemuan lagi di Yorkshire dan Warwickshire telah direncanakan. Ketiganya adalah pertemuan terbuka mulai pukul 6 sore dan memberikan kesempatan untuk mendiskusikan perubahan terbaru pada standar jaminan dan rencana perpindahan ke jaminan seumur hidup untuk daging sapi. Bryan Griffiths, Ketua Regional NSA South West, berkomentar: ldquoMengikuti kekhawatiran yang diajukan oleh anggota mengenai standar Jaminan Traktat Merah yang direvisi yang diperkenalkan pada musim gugur 2014, saya mendekati RTA dan mendiskusikan kemungkinan pertemuan antara anggota senior petani RTA dan West Country . Konsep tersebut sejak saat itu dikembangkan dan diperluas untuk mencakup NFU dan NBA, serta anggota NSA. Inilah kesempatan besar bagi petani untuk menyampaikan pandangan mereka mengenai tujuan dan arah kepastian peternakan ke depan. Ke tiga pertemuan tersebut adalah: - Kamis 29 Januari di Padbrook Park Hotel, Cullompton, Devon, EX15 1RU. Selasa 3 Februari di Skipton Livestock Market, Skipton, Yorkshire Utara, BD23 1UD. Kamis 12 Februari di Warwick Complex, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG. Berlari bersamaan dengan pertemuan Red Tractor Assurance ini, RTA juga saat ini sedang berkonsultasi dengan standar baru untuk pasar ternak dan pusat pengumpulan. Phil Stocker, Chief Executive NSA, mengatakan: ldquoNSA bekerja dengan sejumlah anggota dengan kepentingan di bidang ini untuk memastikan tanggapan yang mencerminkan pengalaman orang-orang yang terlibat. Kami menerima bahwa standar tidak dapat tetap diam selamanya, namun posisi mendasar kami adalah persyaratan harus proporsional, menghindari duplikasi dan pada tingkat yang mendorong partisipasi. Kembali ke atas RAPAT VITAL TERHADAP SPLITTASI KUALITAS YANG DIPERLUKAN UNTUK FEBRUARI: NSA dan NFU bertemu minggu ini Untuk mempersiapkan pertemuan yang diselenggarakan bersama dan disampaikan untuk mencari solusi atas masalah yang disebabkan oleh erupsi gigi dan pemecahan kombo. Pertemuan yang akan diadakan pada awal Februari ini, akan melibatkan badan industri peternakan, serikat pekerja, Defra dan administrasi yang dilimpahkan, Badan Standar Makanan, Kepala Petugas Veteriner dan lain-lain. NSA akan terus memberi tahu anggota saat pertemuan penting ini berlangsung. Pekerjaan tersebut mengikuti laporan TSE NSArsquos yang diluncurkan tahun lalu. Kembali ke atas TEKNOLOGI INTERNET MENGATASI anggota dan pendukung BAD CUACA yang selamat yang menghadiri makan malam tahunan NSA Scottish Region beberapa hari yang lalu akan tahu bahwa dua Duta NSA Next Generation 2014 dari Skotlandia diundang untuk berbicara di acara tersebut. Jennifer Craig dari Lanarkshire berbicara tentang Program Duta Besar dan bagaimana hal itu menguntungkan bisnis keluarganya, namun Andrew Prentice mencegah perjalanan melintasi Iona saat cuaca buruk menghentikan feri. Dia malah mengirim pesan video, yang bisa Anda lihat di saluran NSA You Tube di youtubeusernatsheepassoc. Makan malam mengikuti RUU Wilayah Skotlandia NSA, di mana Sybil Macpherson dan Ian Hepburn terpilih untuk masa jabatan masing-masing sebagai Ketua dan Wakil Ketua masing-masing. Pemegang jabatan lainnya juga tetap dalam posisi. Kembali ke atas KETUA DAN ANGGOTA SULIT UNTUK FORUM UPLAND WELSH: Pemerintah Welsh berusaha menunjuk seorang ketua dan tujuh anggota independen ke Forum Upland untuk masa jabatan keempat (2015-2018). Forum Upland didirikan pada tahun 2005 untuk memberi tahu Pemerintah Welsh dan Majelis Nasional untuk Wales mengenai isu-isu yang berdampak pada perbukitan dan dataran tinggi Wales. Anggota diharapkan untuk melayani secara sukarela untuk setidaknya empat pertemuan setahun dan beberapa acara tambahan (biaya perjalanan dapat diklaim), sementara Ketua dibayar 114 per hari. Janji akan dilakukan oleh Rebecca Evans, Wakil Menteri Pertanian dan Pangan. Aplikasi ditutup pada hari Selasa tanggal 10 Februari klik di sini untuk informasi lebih lanjut. Kembali ke atas PENELITIAN PENELITIAN ALTERNATIF LALU: Dengan penjaga domba mencari sumber protein yang terjangkau menjelang makan beranak, Eblex telah berbagi hasil dari sebuah proyek yang melibatkan HCC, Adas dan Reaseheath College untuk melihat sumber protein alternatif untuk kedelai. . Liz Genever, Eblex Senior Livestock Scientist, mengingatkan produsen bahwa protein rumen yang dapat terdegradasi (ditemukan di rumput, jerami, silase dan brassicic greenyyyyyyyyyyyy) harus didorong dengan protein yang mudah larut dan tidak dapat larut pada akhir kehamilan untuk memberi kebutuhan energi baru. Sementara 3 dari kedelai yang diimpor ke Inggris diberi makan untuk domba, ini juga digunakan sebagai bahan pakan untuk domba domba domba, namun Dr Genever mengatakan bahwa alternatif yang lebih murah dapat menawarkan tingkat protein yang sama (lihat tabel). Dia berkomentar: Tidak ada perbedaan signifikan dalam kinerja hewan antara makanan. Diet berbasis kedelai adalah yang paling mahal dan makanan yang didasarkan pada penggilingan gandum adalah biji yang paling murah, berdasarkan harga pakan mulai bulan Januari 2014. Makanan ini diberi makan sebagai TMR, dan walaupun tidak semua produsen memiliki akses ke fasilitas TMR, beberapa akan Memiliki kesempatan untuk mencampur makanan mereka sendiri dan dapat mempertimbangkan beberapa perubahan. Jika diet harus diubah, bantuan dari ahli gizi sangat penting dan analisis hijauan harus dilakukan agar pakan dapat digunakan untuk melengkapinya. Baca lebih lanjut tentang temuan penelitian di sini. Kembali ke atas GLUCOSE SHORTAGE: NSA telah mendengar dari anggota bahwa mereka berjuang untuk mendapatkan produk glukosa untuk mengobati anak domba hipotermia dan penyakit domba kembar pada domba betina. Beberapa penyelidikan menunjukkan bahwa masalah manufaktur di Eropa adalah penyebab dan pemasok akan mendapatkan kembali produk pada bulan Maret. Sementara itu, Paul Roger dari Veterinary Society Domba mengatakan bahwa aman dan legal untuk membuat keputusan Anda sendiri dan menyediakan resep yang akan segera ditambahkan ke situs NSA. Kembali ke atas PENYELESAIAN SHEEP TERUS MENERUS: Masalah pencurian domba disorot sekali lagi minggu ini dengan anggota NSA dari Colwall, Worcestershire, melaporkan 75 domba yang dicuri dari ladangnya, mungkin selama beberapa periode waktu tertentu. Harap tetap waspada terhadap pencurian, lakukan apa yang Anda bisa untuk mengamankan ladang terpencil, dan dorong tetangga untuk melaporkan penampakan trailer ternak pada waktu yang tidak biasa sepanjang hari. Kembali ke atas UPAYA PENGAMBILAN YANG DIAKUI: Penghargaan Kepemimpinan Direktor BWMBLister Shearing of the Year 2014 telah diberikan kepada Richard Jones dari Corwen, Wales (foto). Penghargaan ini dipresentasikan setiap tahun untuk orang yang telah mempromosikan dan mendorong orang lain yang tertarik untuk melakukan pemotongan dan yang telah mendapatkan penghargaan dari industri geser Inggris. Richard mewakili Wales di Kejuaraan Dunia 2012 dan 2014 dan menjadi georgejetson pertama yang memenangkan pertunjukan terbuka di Selandia Baru. Kembali ke atas HADIAH UNTUK FINISHERS BLACKIE: Kompetisi tahunan ketiga untuk anak domba Blackface selesai di Southern Scotland dan Northern England, yang diadakan di Dunbia LLanybydder, Wales, melihat entri terbesar sejauh ini dari 136 kawanan domba dari 22 pengirim, dibeli oleh Dunbia untuk Taste Sainsburyrsquos Rentang yang berbeda. Domba juara berasal dari kelas berat dan merupakan UU 21k dari W.A. Wilson amp Co, Yarrow, Perbatasan Skotlandia (foto), dan memesan koper R3L 19kg dari Hugh Hamilton, Thornhill, Dumfries dan Galloway. Pasangan juara adalah dua anak domba U3H 18kg dari Jim Walker, Sanquhar, Dumfries dan Galloway. Kembali ke atas ANDA BISA KOMENTAR TENTANG NAMA NSA KEANGGOTAAN ANDA NSA sedang mencari testimonial tentang mengapa Anda adalah bagian dari NSA dan berapa nilai Anda dari paket keanggotaan Anda? Jika Anda bersedia memberikan komentar bahwa NSA dapat menggunakannya dalam kegiatan rekrutmen keanggotaannya, silakan kirim email ke Charlotte Underwood di NSA Head Office charlottenationalsheep.org.uk. Kembali ke atas CATATAN BAGAIMANA NSA WELSH SHEEP EXHIBITOR: Helen Davies, Penyelenggara Acara Domba NSA Welsh, mengatakan aplikasi untuk ruang perdagangan berdiri pada acara yang ditutup pada akhir Januari. Masyarakat dan perusahaan breed yang ingin memesan ruang harus melakukannya sekarang dengan menghubungi Helen di 01938 590535, 07976 803066 atau helennationalsheep.org.uk untuk formulir aplikasi. Aplikasi untuk acara NSA di akhir tahun ditutup pada waktunya dan Anda akan menemukan rincian kontak untuk semua Penyelenggara Acara di nationalsheep.org.ukevents. Kembali ke atas PARIWISATA SCOTTISHING MELIHAT PANDANGAN TERJADI PADA PERJALANAN DI SLAUGHTER: Janie Orr, seorang mahasiswa kehormatan di Royal Agricultural University, dari Perbatasan Skotlandia, meminta anggota NSA di Skotlandia untuk berbagi pandangan mereka mengenai kesejahteraan saat disembelih. Klik di sini untuk survei singkat dan anonim. Kembali ke atas TIGA PEKERJAAN DI PENAWARAN DI AHDB: Tiga peran yang sangat berbeda saat ini diiklankan oleh AHDB untuk mendukung sektor daging sapi dan domba Inggris. Satu posisi adalah untuk Analis Senior di departemen intelijen pasar, sebuah peran yang melibatkan riset, analisis, interpretasi dan komunikasi yang jelas terhadap informasi yang relevan. Mereka yang akrab dengan tim di Eblex akan tahu ini adalah peran yang dimiliki oleh Paul Heyhoe sampai baru-baru ini. Aplikasi hampir dekat untuk posisi ini sehingga siapapun yang tertarik harus bertindak sekarang. Aplikasi untuk dua posisi lainnya terbuka untuk sedikit lebih lama. Ini adalah untuk Penasihat Pembiakan dengan tim Peternak Peternak, yang bertanggung jawab untuk merekrut dan mempertahankan klien, memberikan saran untuk mengembangkan program peningkatan genetik, dan menciptakan materi transfer pengetahuan dan Ilmuwan Sapi yang bertanggung jawab atas penyampaian berbagai pengetahuan yang dihadapi oleh industri. Kegiatan dan proyek penelitian dan pengembangan. NSA REGIONAL CHAIRMAN HOSTS SHEEP VET MASYARAKAT: The Domba Vet Society mengadakan konferensi musim semi mereka di dekat Weston Super Mare dari Senin sampai Rabu minggu ini (19-21 Mei) menarik lebih dari 100 delegasi, terutama mempraktikkan dokter hewan. Pada hari kedua mereka mengunjungi NSA Marches Region Chairman Kevin Harrison di dekat Bath untuk tur pertanian dan ada banyak komentar positif yang diikuti (dari kedua delegasi dan Kevin). Phil Stocker menghadiri bagian konferensi tersebut. Dia melaporkan: ldquoItu benar-benar memberi Anda kepercayaan diri saat melihat jumlah dokter hewan yang antusias menghadiri konferensi spesialis seperti ini dan ingin menjadi bagian dari Domba Vet Society. Rentang usia juga menunjukkan tidak ada kekurangan pendatang baru ke dalam rantai industri dan petani domba kita harus merasa yakin bahwa kita memiliki masyarakat di sini di Inggris (SVS) yang terkenal di dunia karena keterlibatannya dalam penelitian kesehatan dan penyakit domba dan aplikasi praktis. Saya akan mendorong semua anggota peternakan domba NSA untuk meminta dokter hewan mereka jika mereka adalah bagian dari SVS dengan melakukan hal tersebut sehingga mereka pasti akan memberikan layanan yang lebih baik untuk Anda, dan bersama-sama kita dapat terus mendorong kesehatan dan produktivitas domba-domba kita ke arah yang benar. Rdquo NSA MEMBUKA REFORMASI CAP DENGAN LOCHHEAD: Akhir minggu lalu melihat pemegang kantor NSA bertemu dengan Sekretaris Kabinet Richard Lochhead untuk membahas reformasi CAP, termasuk daerah pembayaran dan dukungan gabungan sukarela. Skotlandia melihat daerah pembayaran yang membelah menjadi barang-barang bekas, penggembalaan sementara dan penggembalaan kasar dan dalam pertemuan minggu lalu NSA menekankan perlunya pembayaran daerah ditetapkan cukup tinggi untuk memberikan dukungan jangka panjang dan stabilitas kepada para petani domba di seluruh Skotlandia, yang memungkinkan mereka berinvestasi di masa depan. Perhatiannya adalah bahwa pembayaran daerah untuk tingkat penggembalaan kasar tidak akan melakukannya. George Milne, Pejabat Pembangunan Regional NSA Skotlandia, mengatakan: Memilah-milah wilayah penggembalaan kasar menjadi dua telah dibahas, yang merupakan sesuatu yang dirasakan oleh perwakilan ada persyaratan untuk dilihat. Salah satu sarannya adalah melihat Pillar Two funding dan melihat apakah beberapa bentuk top-up dapat diberikan untuk menambahkan dukungan tambahan kepada mereka dengan kepadatan stok yang lebih tinggi. Diskusi seputar skema gabungan sukarela juga terjadi, dan walaupun ini mungkin pilihan, hal itu tentunya bukan solusi dan dilengkapi dengan sejumlah besar kondisi dan pita merah. Hal ini dirasakan oleh mayoritas Dewan Wilayah Skotlandia NSA bahwa ini bukan cara terbaik untuk industri domba, dengan penggunaan pembayaran daerah yang ditargetkan dengan lebih baik didukung dengan baik. Diskusi mengenai semua elemen reformasi CAP akan berlanjut ke minggu depan. , Sebelum Sekretaris Kabinet membuat pengumumannya. PUSAT LAPISAN LAYOUT BARU BEKERJA DI BALMORAL: Edward Adamson, Pejabat Pembangunan Regional NSA Northern Ireland, melaporkan bahwa cuaca yang baik membuat pengunjung berkunjung ke Balmoral Show minggu lalu (14-16 Mei). NSA menyediakan pusat domba (seperti di Royal Highland dan Royal Welsh) sebuah tenda yang mengakomodasi kehadiran NSA, berkembang biak masyarakat dan perdagangan komersial. Edward melaporkan: Sebagian besar pengunjung puas, karena mereka memiliki pertumbuhan beraneka ragam dan baik baik. Perubahan tata letak kita di stand NSA mendapat reaksi yang baik dan peserta pameran senang. Sebagian besar pertanyaan di stand kami melibatkan reformasi CAP, hasil dan keputusan yang diharapkan masih harus dibuat. Pemilihan pada tanggal 22 Mei membawa sejumlah politisi yang tidak terduga namun sedikit komitmen dari mereka. BERITA YANG BAIK TERHADAP AKSES TERBUKA DI WALES: Pemerintah Welsh mengumumkan pada hari Rabu (20 Mei) bahwa undang-undang yang mengatur pemberian akses terbuka terhadap lahan di Wales telah tertunda Sambil menunggu konsultasi lebih lanjut. Meskipun penting untuk mendorong orang untuk menikmati pedesaan di semua wilayah di Inggris, NSA dan yang lainnya sangat khawatir bahwa rencana pemerintah Wales tidak cukup sensitif terhadap petani dan orang lain yang mengelola tanah tersebut. Sebuah pernyataan oleh John Griffiths, Menteri Kebudayaan dan Olahraga, yang mencakup referensi untuk konsultasi lebih lanjut sebelum undang-undang dibuat, dapat dibaca di sini. GERAKAN PADA STANDSTILL 13-HARI Skotlandia Sementara Inggris dan Wales mencari untuk menilai penundaan enam hari mereka dan Irlandia Utara tidak lama memiliki masa macet dalam penyakit lsquopeacetimersquo, Skotlandia masih memiliki persyaratan 13 hari macet. Hal ini diajukan pada pertemuan Kelompok Pemangku Kesehatan Hewan dan Kesejahteraan Hewan Pekan ini dan sebuah permintaan dibuat untuk membahas secara rinci pro dan kontra untuk pindah ke skala waktu yang lebih pendek, mengingat sistem perkapalan Scotlandrsquos yang kuat. Disepakati bahwa sebuah pertemuan akan dibentuk dalam waktu dekat, mengundang semua pihak yang berkepentingan untuk sepenuhnya menyelidiki situasi saat ini. MENGHADAPI KEJAHATAN RURAL: Sejak menulis kepada semua pasukan polisi di Inggris untuk meningkatkan profil domba yang dikhawatirkan oleh anjing, NSA telah mendiskusikan semua elemen kejahatan pedesaan dalam beberapa pekan terakhir. Ini termasuk Caitlin Peck, Pejabat Komunikasi NSA, menghadiri Konferensi Kejahatan Pedesaan Herefordshire kemarin (Kamis 22 Mei) ketika anggota kunci pasukan Mercia Barat meminta polisi dan masyarakat untuk bekerja sama dalam menangani kejahatan pedesaan. Diskusi di pertemuan tersebut, dihadiri oleh perwakilan petani dan industri, dipusatkan pada dorongan untuk meningkatkan kepercayaan dan kerja sama, dengan Walikota Patrick Darling (Sheriff Tinggi Herefordshire), David Shaw (Kepala Polisi Polisi Mercator Barat) dan Bill Longmore (Polisi Dan Komisaris Kejahatan) di antara mereka yang meminta anggota masyarakat pedesaan untuk membantu polisi melakukan tindakan kriminal di pedesaan dengan melaporkan kejadian dan berbagi informasi. Ada juga janji upaya baru di antara pasukan polisi di daerah tersebut untuk memprioritaskan insiden di pedesaan. Mr Shaw berkata: quotTodays awal perubahan yang sangat signifikan. Saya tidak bisa dengan jujur ‚Äč‚Äčmengatakan bahwa Anda telah memberi beberapa dari Anda fokus yang layak Anda dapatkan. Kita perlu membentuk apa arti sebenarnya sebuah kemitraan. Penasihat Risiko Kejahatan Charles Naylor berbicara tentang skema Stop That Thief di Kingham, yang telah melihat petani menyesuaikan pintu gerbang dan pintu dengan alarm yang dipicu saat pendekatan kriminal potensial, yang dimaksudkan untuk Menakut-nakuti pencuri sebelum mereka dapat memulai istirahat. Proyek ini telah sukses di Kingham dan sekarang akan diluncurkan di seluruh petani Herefordshire di daerah tersebut harus menghubungi polisi setempat untuk menyatakan ketertarikan. PENGINGAT 1: TAIL DOCKING: Dengan pertunjukan dan musim penjualan yang mendekat, inilah saat banyak domba kita dicermati. Mungkin sedikit terlambat dalam docking itu sudah dilakukan, tapi NSA ingin mengingatkan semua peternak domba tentang persyaratan hukum docking sheep. Peraturan Kesejahteraan Ternak (Operasi Terlarang) 1982, sebagaimana telah diubah dengan Peraturan Kesejahteraan Ternak (Operasi Dilarang) (Amandemen) 1987, melarang penggilingan ekor domba kecuali ekor yang cukup ditahan untuk menutupi vulva dalam kasus domba betina dan Anus dalam kasus domba jantan. PENGINGAT 2: PERIODE PENARIKAN FSA secara rutin menguji residu obat-obatan dan perawatan parasit untuk memastikan keamanan makanan. This relates to stated withdrawal periods being properly met and the NSA encourages all sheep farmers for the sake of confidence and trust in our product to adhere closely to withdrawal periods and to ensure that medicine books and flock registers are up to date. ASULAM NOW ON SALE FOR EMERGENCY USE FROM JULY: The Bracken Control Group reports that, as anticipated, asulam has been granted an Emergency Authorisation for bracken control in 2014. The Emergency Authorisation has two periods the one permits purchase and storage of asulam products between Monday 19th May and Monday 15th September, and the other permits application between Tuesday 1st July and Friday 31st October. It is illegal to apply or store asulam outside those dates. There are rules about methods of application (e.g. weed wipers, drift sprayers and spot applicators are not authorised) and information about this, plus a list of contractors, can be found at brackencontrol.co.uk . GET SHEEP MARKET PRICES ON NEW EBLEX APP: Eblex has launched a new mobile app providing the latest market prices and trends along with access to the most popular areas of the Eblex website. Users will be able to view events, news, localised weather reports and other tools and resources on their mobile phone. James Wilde of Eblex says: ldquoThe app obviously needs wi-fi or mobile data connectivity to download and update but, importantly, it means latest saved data can be accessed even when off-line, which is an advantage in more rural areas where coverage can be patchy at best. It means producers, processors and other industry stakeholders can access key services without waiting until they are in front of a computer screen.rdquo The Eblex Mobile app is available for free on both Apple and Android platforms. To find it, visit Applersquos App Store or Google Play and search for Eblex. NEW SHEEPDOG TRIAL AT NSA SOUTH SHEEP: Visitors to NSA South Sheep 2014 on Saturday 28th June will be treated to a new sheepdog trial, introduced for the first time at this yearrsquos event. The competition, which will take place in a picturesque valley setting on the event site, is being organised by the Sussex Sheep Dog Society and will feature Open and Novice classes. Anyone wishing to enter should send their details, including name, address, telephone number and email, to John Marsh, West End Farm, Gatehouse Lane, Goddards Green, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9LE, 01444 246962 or westendtalktalk. Find out more about the sheepdog trial and other events at NSA South Sheep 2014 here. AND REMEMBER THERE IS ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT TO ENTER THE NSA SOUTH SHEEP PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION - CLICK HERE TO ENTERFOR DETAILS. SIX SHEARING COURSES IN NI IN JUNE: CAFRE and BWMB are running a series of shearing courses across Northern Ireland in June, aimed at everyone from the complete novice to the competitioncontract shearer. The courses are two days each (9.30am-4.20pm each day) and will cover every aspect of shearing, from setting up equipment and pens to packing and presenting the fleece for sale. Course locations are Claudy (6th7th June), Saintfield (10th11th), Draperstown (13th14th), Kilcoo (17th18th), Ballycastle (20th21st) and Glenwherry (24th25th). Booking is compulsory contact CAFRErsquos industry training administration team at Greenmount Campus on 02894 426873 or industry.trainingadmindardni.gov.uk . THREE FARM WALKS FOCUSING ON LAMB GROWTH RATES: The next step in QMSrsquos project to drive efficiency in the lamb supply chain is a series of free farm walks organised by the Borders, South West and Central lamb supply chain groups. All three farm walks will focus on maximising lamb growth rates in early season through good grazing and flock health management, plus optimal weights for selling lambs. The first walk is hosted by Graham Lofthouse, Bankhouse, Stow (27th May), then Colin Mair, Montgomerieston, Dalrymple, Ayrshire (28th May), and the James Hutton Institute farm, Hartwood, Shotts (10th June). Register your attendance with Kirsty at QMS on 01314 724040 or infoqmscotland.co.uk . FOCUS FARM EVENTS TO LEAD EBLEX HEALTH AND WELFARE CAMPAIGN: Eblex is creating a network of 19 sheep focus farms across England as part of a campaign addressing health and welfare issues. The farms will play host to a series of events during the 12-month project, starting with a programme of summer meetings focusing on lameness and the five-point lameness management plan. Both upland and lowland farms have been selected. The first focus farm meetings will be held in Callington, Cornwall, on 28th May and Dorchester, Dorset, on 5th June. As well as the activity on the focus farms, Eblex will be running a number of sheep health workshops designed to help farmers focus on issues on their own farms. These sessions will cover health planning, lameness, infertility and scab. See Eblexrsquos events schedule here . ENTRIES OPEN FOR BRITISH FARMING AWARDS: Entries are now open for Farmers Guardianrsquos lsquoBritish Farming Awardsrsquo, which recognise creative thinking and progress in agriculture. If you know someone who has made a change or innovation in their sheep farming business, why not nominate them for Sheep Innovator of the Year You can even nominate yourself There are 11 categories in total, including Farming Partnership of the Year, Family Farming Business of the Year and Farmers Guardianrsquos Farming Hero. Entries close on 31st July. Find out more here . JOINT WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT WANTED: Pearly Sanjita Garg and Sophie Turrell (both 17) are looking for a two-week placement on a sheep farm anywhere in the UK, ideally in mid-July. Both are A-level students looing to study veterinary science and have experience working with animals, including the two of them completing a lambing course. They would like to be placed together and are keen to take on any sort of farm work, saying they are enthusiastic and keen to learn. They are based in Woodford Green, Essex, so would require accommodation if travelling any distance. You can contact the pair on pearly.s.garghotmail.co.uk or 07825 017362. NEW L EGAL HELPLINE ON OFFER FOR NSA MEMBERS: NSA is delighted to offer a new legal helpline for members, at no extra cost over the existing membership fee. You can call Clarke Willmott LPP, a national law firm, for up to 30 minutes of free advice on the telephone, after which you can instruct them to take further action if appropriate or use an alternative company. When you call the hotline number of 08719 193505 and give your NSA membership number you will be directed to the best person to deal with the enquiry in Clarke Wilmottrsquos agricultural team. There is no limit to the number of times you can use the service, so you can access additional 30-minutes sessions if you have more than one legal issue over a year, but you must have your NSA membership number to hand. STUNNON STUN DEBATE CONTINUES: Following another All Party Parliamentary Group debate on this subject, the media focused heavily on halal and stunnon-stun slaughter yesterday and today (Thursday 8th and Friday 9th May). Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: ldquoOne of the most disturbing things is how radio phone-in programmes give a voice to callers irrespective of whether the information they give is right or wrong, and Irsquom sure many people will have got the impression over the last couple of days that if itrsquos halal itrsquos not pre-stunned this is very wrong. New Zealand lamb attracted a lot of attention but we know the vast majority of lamb from NZ is to halal standards and is also pre-stunned, giving the best possible welfare at point of death. NZ processors do this so they have the widest access to all the markets they supply, and this is no different from our main processors here in the UK. While I can accept the value of giving maximum information to the consumer this somehow also needs to be backed up with accurate and realistic knowledge and the contentious issue here for most of the public is not whether itrsquos halal accredited or not, itrsquos whether its pre stunned or not. Defra has made it clear that the Government does not intend to take away the rights of religious communities, so non-stun slaughter will continue, but the derogation to the slaughter regulation is to allow for where this demand exists and as far as possible should be limited.rdquo Read the NSA press statement here . TWO DOZEN BREEDS REPRESENTED AT NSA FORUM: NSArsquos annual event for sheep breed societies attracted a very healthy audience, with 50 attendees representing 24 breed societies. The event focused on the need for pedigree breeders to meet the demands of the commercial farmer and a full report can be read here. Pictured below pedigree breeders Dai Morris (far left), Margaret Lawrence (centre) and Tim Tyne (far right) with commercial farmers Sion Jones (left) and Martin Greenfield (right) they all provided case studies of the working relationship between breeders and producers. A separate summary report has also been sent to all NSA affiliated breed societies. LOTS OF AGENDA ITEMS FOR NSA BOARD MEETING: This Wednesday (7th May) saw the NSA Board of Trustees met at the Sheep Centre, Malvern, for the second of its meetings in 2014. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, explains the set-up here: ldquoThis body of men and women are Trustees and Directors of the Charitable Company of the NSA so oversee the governance of the association as well as giving guidance on more practical sheep farming matters. The Board is supported by a Finance and General Purposes Committee and a UK Policy and Technical Committee in respective financial and HR, and policy and technical matters it may sound complicated but it gives a sound base to the NSA and works really well in practice This weekrsquos meeting included subjects as broad as ensuring that the association is optimising the use of our resources, including our HQ site at Malvern and our financial reserves, planning for our annual report and this yearrsquos AGM, and also discussing our three main events for 2014 NSA Scot Sheep in Berwickshire on Wednesday 4th June, NSA South Sheep on Saturday 28th June, and NSA Sheep 2014 at Malvern on Wednesday 30th July. Suffice to say our Trustees went home looking more tired than they arrivedrdquo LATEST ON MOVEMENT REPORTING IN ENGLAND: The new ARAMs movement reporting system is now just over a month into operation and although there were introductory hiccups we can report that (whatever is said in the farming press) that Defra and SouthWestern (the company operating ARAMs) are working hard, taking guidance from industry bodies including NSA, to make rapid improvements so the system operates effectively for the industry. One of the first teething problems was that the list of CPH registered for sheep, provided by AHVLA to SouthWestern, clearly didnrsquot cover all the holdings actually keeping sheep. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: ldquoWe have been urging sheep farmers to check with AHVLA that all their holdings are properly registered, which has definitely helped, but AHVLA and SouthWestern also took this on board and on Wednesday night this week the ARAMs system was closed overnight to allow all CPHs registered for any species to be loaded into their system simply allowing recognition when sheep farmers try to register. There are now over 2,250 farmers with electronic accounts registered with ARAMs, around 7 of sheep keepers in England, and with many of the hiccups now being overcome and more numbers of sheep starting to move we would expect many more to register over the coming months. Of course paper moves from farms are still perfectly permissible and while ARAMs is still accepting the old ALMS forms, the new ARAMs movement forms should be being used and can be downloaded and printed from their website and should also be available from markets and abattoirs.rdquo FINAL REMINDER This is your final reminder ahout the NSA Sheep Event video competition (with a prize fund of 700), as entries close on Friday 16th May. Klik di sini untuk lebih jelasnya. EBLEX REPORT LINKS LAMBING BCS WITH WEANING WEIGHTS: An Eblex report has linked ewe body condition score (BCS) at lambing with lamb weaning weights. The study shows that for every one unit increase in a ewersquos BCS at lambing (up to BCS 3.5) her lambs would each weigh 1.5kg more at weaning. This pattern highlights the benefit of targeting optimum BCS at lambing, as thinner and fatter ewes are vulnerable to other problems too. Ewe BCS at eight weeks post lambing and the change in BCS from lambing showed no effect on lamb weaning weights. Nerys Wright of Eblex says: ldquoEwes with greater fat reserves are better placed to meet the milk production demands of lambs when diet is deficient by mobilising body fat. Thinner ewes are likely to struggle when the energy is deficient, because they have less body fat to mobilise. The rate a ewe mobilises body fat to meet requirements during lactation can affect her performance in the next tupping season. Ewes which are thin at weaning will require additional time and supplementary feed to achieve the optimum BCS for tupping.rdquo Target scores for different types of ewe can be found in the EBLEX BRP publications Target Ewe Management for Better Returns and Improving Ewe Nutrition for Better Returns . DONrsquoT GET CARELESS OVER LIVER FLUKE: SAC Consulting has put out a warning this week following concerns that sheep farmers are getting careless about liver fluke because it did not hit the headlines as much this winter as last. Heather Stevenson, SAC Consultant, says: ldquoThe very welcome drier summer of 2013 put the brakes on fluke development. There were fewer wet areas for the mud snail that hosts the fluke during part of its life cycle and this in turn meant there were fewer numbers of infectious cysts on the autumn grass for sheep to ingest. In addition the increased awareness of fluke encouraged farmers to treat their stock for fluke and reduced losses. But if it rains a lot this summer fluke eggs passed in dung at this time of year will end up as infectious cysts on the autumn grazing. Since the weather canrsquot be accurately predicted it is better to be safe than sorry and the MayJune period is a good time to treat sheep in order to break the fluke cycle.rdquo Remember, treatment is specific to your farm so consult your vet or animal health advisor first and pick a product that is suitable for the time of year. More information at scops.org.uk. And read the latest instalment from lsquoGeorgersquos Journalrsquothe Scottish Fluke Action Group here . FLYSTRIKE WARNING: A couple of NSA members have already reported cases of flystrike, due to the wet and warm weather. The forecast is damp again for many places this weekend so many flocks will see an increased threat. SEE YOU AT BALMORAL SHOW: If yoursquore at Balmoral Show this week (Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th May) call in to the NSA Sheep Centre, featuring trade stands from NSA, breed societies and commercial companies. Itrsquos located next to the sheep judging rings. EXCELLENT FARM TOURS AVAILABLE FOR SCOT SHEEP VISITORS: Visitors to NSA Scot Sheep 2014 will have the chance to look around host farm Quixwood and ask questions about its stratified closed flock system. A 45-minute guided tour will be running on the day of the event, taking in soil condition demonstrations by SRUC and display areas of different grass species courtesy of Watson Seeds. Quixwood is farmed by John Macfarlane and his son Ian, who run 1,500 ewes over its 2,500 acres. The farm policy is focused on minimising feed imports through the use of home grown feed. The Macfarlanes produce their own Mules to put to Texel tups, and breed their progeny with Suffolk rams to get slaughter lambs. Iain Macfarlane says ldquoWe are planning to take this policy one stage further by breeding our own replacement Blackface ewes in the futurerdquo. Find more information about Quixwood Farm and NSA Scot Sheep here. CALLING ALL YOUNG SHEPHERDS: Itrsquos no too late to enter the NSA Marches Region Young Shepherd of the Year competition on Saturday 7th June. Under 27s can compete for a 600 prize fund. Click here for an entry form. TWO FARM WALKS AT EASY CARE OPEN DAY: The Easy Care Sheep Society is inviting NSA members to its annual open day and farm visits at Abbey St Bathans, Dunns, Scottish Borders, TD11 3TX on Friday 6th June. The event will start at the village hall at 11am and tour the farms of Charley and Andrea Walker (1,000 Easy Care ewes and 65 Welsh Black sucklers) and Duncan and Laura Shell (2,000 Easy Care ewes and 150 Angus cattle) before returning to the village hall for tea and discussion. There will also be an annual dinner that evening in Berwick-on-Tweed. Contact Iolo Owen if you wish to attend 01289 331133 or infoeasycaresheep.org.uk. Please note NSA Scot Sheep is in a similar area on Wednesday 4th June consider combining the two events if yoursquore travelling long distances ONE SHEEP FARM WALK AND FIVE RUSH CONTROL EVENTS IN WALES: Farming Connect demonstration farmers Richard Rogers is opening his farm gates on Anglesey on Thursday 15th May and inviting sheep farmer Neil Perkins (who also farms on the Welsh coastline but almost as far south from Anglesey as possible) to look at his sheep management systems. Click here for information and booking instructions. Farming Connect is also running five events looking at rush management options on Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st May. Click here for times and locations. 12-MONTH PLACEMENT WANTED: Liberty Turner (17) is looking for a 12-month middle year placement to start in September, as part of her level 3 extended diploma in agriculture at Reaseheath College. Liberty comes from a farming background of commercial and pedigree sheep and beef and is very interested in the sheep side. She has started her own pedigree Texel flock. Liberty says she is hardworking, full of enthusiasm and willing to take on any kind of work. Contact her on 07958 485327 or liblob.ltgooglemail . C AP, TSEs AND EID TOLERANCE DISCUSSED AS SECRETARY OF STATE SPENDS DAY WITH NSA: Happening just 48 hours after Defras announcement that it was moving CAP money up the hill to such an extent that moorland would see a 90 increase in payments to 56 per hectare, the long-anticipated visit from Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, yesterday (Thursday 1st May) was ideally timed. NSA Chairman John Geldard invited Mr Paterson to visit his farm near Kendal, Cumbria, when he first replaced Jim Paice in the top job at Defra 18 months ago, so it was great to see the visit finally going ahead, taking in a number of rural businesses at the gateway to the Lake District. John (right) is pictured here with Mr Paterson (middle) and NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker (left). Phil told Mr Paterson that was NSA was very pleased with steps taken to move direct payments to farmers (Pillar One) up the hill but would have like to see more progress on money being better targeted to active farmers. He highlighted the equal importance of Rural Development Programme (Pillar Two) money going directly to farmers too, describing the proposed NSA Animal Health Scheme as a way to increase productivity and competitiveness, while also improving resource efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Phil says: ldquoWe ac knowledge the animal health budget within RDPE is insufficient to fund this scheme on a major scale, but we strongly believe it is justifiable to talk about r eassessment of Pillar Two priorities and a more equal balance between environmental projects and resource efficiency within food production systems. After all, itrsquos still a Common Agricultural Policy not a Common Environmental Policy. I think Mr Paterson appreciates NSArsquos stance on this issue and the importance of not forgetting the vital role livestock farms play in economic activity and feeding the nation as well as further improving our iconic landscapes and environments. There is a lot of common ground between us when we talk about production, profitability and environmental enhancement running hand in hand.quot With the Secretary of State speaking very passionately about the role of agriculture and rural business in strengthening the UK economy, the visit also presented an ideal opportunity to talk about two key issues that NSA members know are holding the sector back carcase splitting and the lack of tolerance for EID read rates. Mr Paterson picked both of these up very strongly and NSA will follow up the dialogue to ensure they remain on the agenda within Defra. John says: ldquoThe Secretary of State must be congratulated for his strong convictions and clear vision that agriculture is a vital part of our countryrsquos economy. Now is a tim e of opportunity and it was very heartening to find common ground when discussing the huge potential within the sheep sector.rdquo ENDEMIC DISEASE A PRIORITY FOR RDPE: The day with Owen Paterson yesterday was perfectly bookended by two crucial meetings on Wednesday and today about the Rural Development Programme in England. The RDP team in Defra has held a series of workshops looking at potential animal health and welfare schemes in the future and the third of three sessions was held today (Friday 2nd May) in London. This was proceeded by a Sheep Health and Welfare Group (SHAWG) meeting on Wednesday (30th April) when consensus was reached on a scheme along the lines of what NSA has been proposing for some time now, financially incentivising farmers to proactively tackle endemic diseases appropriate to their farm, gaining funding for veterinary input and testing and grant funding for on-farm equipment such as handling and identification kit, quarantine facilities and biosecurity measures. The sheep group proposal to the RDP team today was along very similar lines to the cattle, poultry and pig sectors and so the next step is to model a scheme that all livestock farmers can access and make applicable to their farm. Joanne Briggs, NSA Communications Manager, attended todayrsquos meeting. She says: ldquoWe are a very long way from definitely having a workable scheme, but steps are being made in the right direction. It is just very frustrating that all the RDPE streams seem to be so tightly confined by Defra, with little appetite for formulating programmes that cover more than one area. The pots of money are also incredibly small with 87 of the RDPE budget already allocated for agri-environment schemes.rdquo MORE NSA ACTION ON SHEEP WORRYING BY DOGS: The NSA sheep worrying by dogs campaign continued apace this week with letters sent to all police forces and regional Police and Crime Commissioners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. NSA outlined the seriousness of the problem in rural areas and urban fringes and the incredible variability in police engagement around the UK revealed by the NSA survey of sheep farmers. The letters also highlighted the growing problem with rural crime in general and asked the police to engage with NSA and others to tackle sheep rustling as well as sheep worrying. Today (Friday 2nd May) also saw an excellent debate about sheep worrying on BBC Radio 2rsquos Jeremy Vine show, involving NSA Marches Region Kevin Harrison. Click here to listen again. As an example of the variability of action being taken by police forces, Avon and Somerset Constabulary is leading the way with the launch of a new Rural Crime Team. The team is promoting Farm Watch Schemes and encouraging farmers to mark property as ways to tackle rural crime. Superintendent Ian Wylie says: ldquoWe understand rural crime has a huge impact on both individuals and the local economy and, whilst it is falling, it still cost the UK 43m in 2012. We are already working closely with farmers and rural communities and over the past six months we have been talking directly to them to discuss the issues that concern them the most and ways we can improve our service. Launching the rural crime team is a direct result of those conversations.rdquo Find out more about activity in Avon and Somerset with at avonandsomerset.police.uk. or local residents can call 101 and ask to speak to the local policing team. SECOND 3IN1 FEEDER GIVEN AWAY: The second of six 3in1 Advantage Feeders has been given away in the NSA 2014 membership recruitment campaign, this time to Worcestershire farmer Andrew Baxter. A draw for the feeder is held every two months, with all new members eligible plus existing members who recommend a friend or neighbour. Mr Baxter is pictured here (centre) with NSA Marches Region Chairman Kevin Harrison (left) and Robert Ball of Advantage Feeders (right). Mr Baxter is a tenant on the Croome Estate, farming 670 acres in partnership with his wife. They run 350 ewes and 100 sucklers, as well as growing 450 acres of combinable crops. The North Country Mule ewes are put to Suffolk rams and the finished lambs sold through Worcester Market. The sheep and cattle are primarily grazed on HLS grassland that makes up part of the National Trustrsquos Croome Landscape Park. Mr Baxter paid to upgrade from the 800 model (holds 500kg of feed) to the 1800 (1,150kg). Download an entry form to pass to a friend and view terms and conditions atnationalsheep.org.uk . DONrsquoT MISS NSA VIDEO AND PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITIONS: The deadline for the NSA Sheep Event video competition (with a prize fund of 700) is Friday 16th May. Remember, you do not need to submit a fully edited, professional video as event partner Farmers Guardian will be lending an expert hand to the eight shortlisted entries before them go live online for the big vote. Klik di sini untuk lebih jelasnya. And if photography is more your thing, entries are open for a new photography competition, the results of which will be announced at NSA South Sheep on Saturday 28th July. The theme for the competition is simply sheep and competitors are welcome to enter any image relating to the sheep sector. There is a 80 prize fund for entries into the Open section and 60 in the Junior section, Entries will be judged by a panel of NSA representatives, South Eastern Farmer magazine and the event photographer, but visitors to South Sheep will also be able to vote for the peoples choice with a prize fund of 50. Enter here before Saturday 31st May. NADIS BULLETIN AVAILABLE: The latest Health Bulletin from the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) is available now, plus a NADIS webinar. sponsored by Eblex and DairyCo, offering disease alerts and topical disease challenges. LEATHERJACK NUMBERS AT RECORD HIGH: An annual survey carried out by SRUC in west and central Scotland has revealed that leatherjackets (daddy long leg larvae) are at a 39-yer high and posing a significant threat to grassland. Professor Davy McCracken, SRUC Ecologist, says: ldquoWhile over 90 of the fields sampled contained more than 0.6 million grubs per hectare, nearly 60 of the fields harboured populations of over two million per hectare. Densities like that, if left untreated, are likely to result in severe and visible damage to the grass sward or any spring crops sown after the grass. One result showed 13.6 million grubs per hectare, the highest density we have ever found in one field. Uninformed insurance spraying is not recommended, as grub populations can vary, not only from area to area but also within an area and from field to field on the same farm. It is essential that an assessment of leatherjacket densities is conducted prior to deciding whether any insecticide application is necessary. If it is needed then an insecticide should be applied as soon as the ground is dry enough to bear machinery.rdquo SAC Consulting recommends that pre-ploughing insecticide treatments when the field is still under grass are more effective than those applied once any damage is under way in the spring-sown crop. DATA SUGGESTS TOO MANY LAMBS KEPT BACK IN HOPE OF RISING PRICES: Eblex has called for the sheep industry to tackle the problem of over-fat lamb production. New figures released by the levy board reveal that while the proportion of old season lambs with a classification of lsquoR3L or leanerrsquo increased by 2.2 in 2013, the percentage of new season lambs falling within that class dropped from 60.1 in 2012 to 58.8 in 2013. Eblex suggests the rise in over-fat new season lambs may have been caused by additional creep feeding as a result of last yearrsquos poor spring weather. The figures also show that in November and December 2013 more than one in four lambs classified as lsquoR or betterrsquo fell into fat class 3H or above, leading to concerns that some farmers have been keeping lambs back in the expectation of price rises. Eblex Beef and Sheep Scientist Dylan Laws says: ldquoLambs in the correct condition for their designated market will maximise returns. Frequent, careful handling of stock is essential to ensure each animal has reached its target specification.rdquo Click here for more detail and links to information about Eblex Better Returns Programme live-to-dead days held regularly at abattoirs across England. NEW BOOK BITES BACK AT MONBIOT AND CO The perfect antidote to the George Monbiot-led campaign to re-wild the uplands of the UK comes in the form of Philip Wallingrsquos new book about the role of sheep in Britainrsquos history and future. Counting Sheep is reviewed in the MayJune edition of Sheep Farmer magazine, which will be arriving with members any day now, and the author has also agreed to participate in lsquoThe Big Debatersquo at the NSA Sheep Event on Wednesday 30th July (the same event that Mr Monbiot has declined an invitation to). The Daily Mail has even given Counting Sheep a good review Find it here . COULD YOU BE A FARMING MENTOR The Get Mentoring in Farming programme has just passed half way in its recruitment of farmer-mentors and has announced a series of training events for mentors Exeter on 6th May, Hertfordshire on 16th May, the Peak District on 22nd May, Warwickshire on 2nd June, Northumberland on 4th June, plus trade stands at NBA Beef Expo on 22nd May and the Livestock Event on 2nd and 3rd July. Trained mentors will be matched with farming businesses seeking support at Meet a Mentor events planned from July onwards. Get Mentoring in Farming is run by the Sfedi Group and supported by the Lloyds Banking Group, LANTRA, the Farming Community Network, Waitrose and the National Federation of Young Farmersrsquo Clubs. Sarah Trouten, SFEDI Group says: ldquoWe are looking for mentors who can bring their experience to bear in areas including business growth, diversification, reducing costs, improving performance and using technology. Ideally, we are looking for people who have been there and done it themselves. Their ability to share that knowledge with others could prove the difference between a business succeeding or failing.rdquo Find out more atgetmentoringinfarming.org.uk . SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TARGETS SOCIAL MEDIA WITH POSITIVE FARMING MESSAGE: The Scottish Governmentrsquos Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID) has created a new Facebook page to run fun rural facts, posts on rural topics, Scottish food recipes and videosinterviews with Drew Sloan, Chief Agricultural Officer, and others within RPID, plus footage out and about on farms across Scotland. Find the Facebook page here. And donrsquot forget the NSA Facebook page either Itrsquosnationalsheep.org.uknatsheep . WOOL DEPOT OPEN DAY: The British Wool Marketing Board has invited NSA members to an open day at its Devon and Cornwall Wools Depot this Thursday (Thursday 8th May) at Pathfields, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3DU. Guided tours of the depot will run through the day (10.30am-3pm), looking at intake, grading and packing. There will also be wool demonstrations, sheet frame demonstrations, a competition to identify sheep breeds and information on prices, shearing training and the Campaign for Wool. Ian Hartley, BWMB Chief Executive, senior staff and boardcommittee members will be around all day to answer questions. To attend contact Depot Manager Mike Berry on122britishwool.org.uk or 01769 572178. Please note that this event clashes with the NSA Breed Society Forum at the Royal Welsh Showground, so we ask that breed society secretaries and representatives do not double-book themselves GRAZING FOR GROWTH CONFERENCE IN SCOTLAND: Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has organised a Grazing for Growth Conference on Friday 30th May at United Auctions, Stirling. The event is part of a new campaign by QMS to help Scottish livestock farmers increase liveweight gain from pasture and wil include a programme of expert speakers followed by a visit to the Forth Monitor Farm. QMS Knowledge Transfer Specialist Michael Blanche says: ldquoThe aim of this event, which will feature a diverse line-up of expert speakers from around the globe, is to take a fresh look at grazing and animal performance from pasture.rdquo Attendance is free of charge. To request a place emailinfoqmscotland.co.uk or call 01314 724040. Find out more here . DUTCH STUDENT SEEKING 10-WEEK WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT: Dirk de Bruijn (22) is looking for a 10-week placement from the beginning of June, either on a commercial sheep farm or a mixed farm that includes sheep. The placement is a compulsory part of Dirkrsquos studies at the Higher School of Business Studies and Agribusiness in the Netherland, and he is trying to find a UK-based placement to improve his English and also learn more about the UK sheep sector. Dutch students are expected to live the family during their placement and do not require remuneration, although they will need some spare time to write reports and papers. Dirkrsquos family runs a large sheep flock, so he is very experienced in all aspects of handling sheep. He also has a driving license and HGV license. Email Dirk on dirk-de-bruijnhotmail . PROUD OF WHAT YOU DO THEN SPREAD THE WORD FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN 400: With the nation getting excited about the launch of Lambing Live this weekend (visit the dedicated BBC page here ) now is the time to put your own filmmaking skills to the test and enter the brand new NSA video competition ahead of the NSA Sheep Event on Wednesday 30th July. The competition is to find the best lsquoadvertrsquo for a career in sheep farming, and donrsquot worry if yoursquove never picked up film camera before, as help is on hand. We all know how rewarding living and working in the countryside can be, producing top quality lamb for British and international consumers, so this is your chance to shout about it and encourage youngsters to consider taking a shepherding job or a role in ancillary services when they are older. Show off how beautiful your corner of the UK is, how proud you are of your stock and why there are enough good things about your job to outweigh the days when it just never stops raining This is how the competition will work:- Submit your video by Friday 16th May tips below An NSA judging panel will shortlist eight videos A skilled videographer at Farmers Guardian will edit the selected videos to create eight three-minute adverts and host them online The big online vote begins vote for your favourite The best three or four will be aired on large screens at the NSA Sheep Event for the final vote, and the video with the best combined vote (judging panel, online vote and event vote) will receive 400 first prize, with second and third attracting 200 and 100 respectively. You do not need to send in a properly edited video, just take lots of footage on your farm (up to one hour) and Farmers Guardian will do the rest. Tips for sending in footage include taking shots of your farm and you at work, as well as spoken bits to the camera. You can send the footage in any format but, particularly if you are using a video on a mobile phone, please select a high setting so the filming is of high quality. Sent your video to enquiriesnationalsheep.org.uk marked lsquoSheep Event Video Competitionrsquo. Click here for full terms and conditions. 10 DAYS TO MAKE SURE YOUrsquoRE IN THE NSA FREE PRIZE DRAW: There are just 10 days left before the end of the month when the second draw will be made it the NSA 2014 membership recruitment campaign to win an Advantage 3-in-1 Feeder (pictured). Everyone who joins the NSA automatically gets entered in the draw and existing members can also get their name in the hat if they recommend a friend or neighbour to sign up. There is no limit to the number of entries per person (the more people you recommend the more entries you get) and if yoursquore not successful this time your name will remain in the hat for the four other draws being held this year. Find membership application forms, more information and terms and conditions at nationalsheep.org.ukdraw. or go to pages 10 and 11 in the MarchApril edition of Sheep Farmer magazine. NSA SCOTLAND GETS MORE CAP DETAIL FROM SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT: Today (Friday 21st March) saw NSA Scottish Region Chairman Sybil Macpherson, Vice Chairman Ian Hepburn and Development Officer George Milne meet with Scottish Government officials to discuss CAP reform ahead of the Governmentrsquos consultation closing next week. George reports: ldquoWe discussed in detail the benefits and consequences of using coupled support in the sheep sector. It became clear that whilst an additional 5 of the budget may be available for coupled support, there were many burdens that would come on the back of this scheme being used. However, at this stage, all options remain open. We also discussed the possibility of splitting rough grazing into two regions, and it may well be that the use of land classifications may be an option to do this. Also discussed in detail was the splitting of the budget between region one and region two. The conclusions will be up for debate following the closure of the consultation, but at this stage we now have enough information to progress with a response that will provide the best outcome for the sheep sector.rdquo NSA RESPONSE TO GLASTIR CONSULTATION IN WALES COMING TOGETHER: The Glastir consultation in Wales closes a week today (Friday 28th March) and NSA has been firming up its response. As well as feeding opinions to NSA, farmers in Wales are also able to respond individually if they chose click here. A few significant points include the ability to enter into targeted agreements without being part of an entry level scheme, the shifting of resources more towards targeted initiatives and away from entry level schemes for all, and proposals to offer advanced schemes and payments to all land over the 400 metre moorland line rather than just common land (this is possibly the ANC, areas of natural constraint approach, although no ANC in Wales has been confirmed yet). Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, adds: ldquoThere is recognition within the consultation document of examples where biodiversity and habitats have been damaged through a lack of grazing (finally we are starting to see recognition that livestock farming is central to upland ecology) with proposals to introduce minimum stocking levels to ensure optimum grazing levels. Any views from members would be well received and copies of our draft response to help with individual responses can be provided by email.rdquo Email Helen Davies, NSA CymruWales Regional Development Officer, at helennationalsheep.org.uk . SIX-DAY STANDSTILL CLAIM BY MP COULD CAUSE CONFUSION: Followers of the Lib Dem MP Tim Farron may have seen that Tim has claimed to have secured the abandonment of the six-day standstill rule in England by 2017, following a meeting with Farming Minister George Eustice. NSA welcomes this intervention but we would not like members expectations to be falsely built. NSA has been lobbying hard for the implementation of all the MacDonald recommendations relating to sheep (not just the six-day standstill but also tolerance on sheep tagging requirements and other issues) and was informed by Defra some time ago that there would be a full review of the six-day standstill but no guarantee it will be abandoned although abandonment is now one of the options that will be considered, whereas it wouldnrsquot have been entertained six months ago. The one decision that has been confirmed in England is the extension of the five-mile radius requirements to a 10 mile radius in 2016. We will continue to keep members informed of decisions as they are made, and keep up the pressure on Defra in this area. OFFICIAL DEFRA GUIDANCE ON NEW MOVEMENT REPORTING OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE: Defra has posted its new official guidance document to all registered sheep keepers in England today (Friday 21st March) so you should receive your copy in the coming days. This is an updated version of its lsquoIdentifying Sheep and Goats: Guidance on the Rules for Keepers in Englandrsquo (last updated in December 2009) and Defra has asked us to inform you that this is the very final time they will be posting a copy of this document out, as all subsequent updates will be made to the online version only. This is part of the Governmentrsquos lsquodigital strategyrsquo and a general move towards putting everything online. A copy of the new guidance can be found in the members-only area of the NSA website, alongside information from SouthWestern about the new electronic database and a QampA created by NSA. If you do not know how to log into the members-only area at nationalsheep.org.uk. please email enquiriesnationalsheep.org.uk . NEW EBLEX BOARD MEMBERS APPOINTED: AHDB has appointed seven new EBLEX board members, including NSA Vice President and former Chairman Peter Baber. The other five new farmer members are Ed Green, Steve Conisbee, Philip Abbott, James Evans and Duncan Nelless, and public health nutritionist Gill Fine is joining as an independent member. All six incoming farmer members run sheep as part of their farming enterprises. Gill Fine is a former director of consumer choice and dietary health at the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The new appointees will take up their posts on 1st April. GET THAT SPADE OUT TO ASSESS WATER DAMAGE: We may not have seen much frost or snow this winter but the amount of rainfall certainly made up for it and shows again that we are living in changeable and uncertain times. But wersquove now had a couple of weeks of far drier weather, drying winds and even some sunshine, and the result is that we are seeing ewes and lambs being turned out and grass starting to move in some areas. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: ldquoGetting that grass moving is important, and considering the impact the wet weather may have had on soils equally important. All soils and regions will vary but getting that spade out and taking a look here and there to identify compaction and moisture below the surface should be the first thing that is done before we rush out with harrows, grass slitters and sub soilers. Before anything else, making sure soils are in optimum physical condition and ensuring the pH is within the right boundaries, is the best place to start.rdquo WARNING ABOUT CHEAP IMITATION BOTTLE TEATS: NSA has been contacted by Brian Hawes, Director of Paragon Rubber, who has become aware of a very poor and dangerous copy of the Pritchard Screw on Lamb Teat (pictured). Mr Hawes says: ldquoOur product is made to a high standard with the nipple being made from latex and the bottle cap clearly marked as Pritchard Screw on Teat. The Chinese copy has no name on the cap and the nipple is made of very thin moulded synthetic rubber. It breaks very easily and our fear is that this may be swallowed by a lamb with disastrous effect. We wish to disassociate ourselves from this product and all resulting problems caused by it.rdquo FREE LAMENESS GUIDE AVAILABLE IN NORTHERN IRELAND: A newly developed sheep lameness guide is being offered for free to sheep farmers in Northern Ireland, thanks to AgriSearch, LMC and AFBI. The practical, pocket-sized publication helps producers diagnose the cause of lameness in sheep, identify treatment and prevention options, as well as follow best practice for foot bathing and foot trimming. Designed to fit in the pocket and stand up to use outside as you work with sheep, the ring-bound booklet combines photographs with bullet points on each possible cause of lameness. Email infoagrisearch.org for a free copy, call 02887 789770 or ask a CAFRE sheep advisor. FARMERS ENTERPRISE COMPETITION TO RUN AGAIN IN 2014: Following the success of the 2013 competition, Menter a Busnes it looking for five teams of three Welsh farmers to compete against each other in producing a profitable pen of lambs grazed on a crop of their choice. This yearrsquos location will be Bangor Universityrsquos farm (the Henfaes Research Centre in Abergwyngregyn) and contestants will work with 50 Welsh Mountain lambs each, brought straight down from the Carneddau mountain range to be managed on two-acre plots of lower lying land at Henfaes. Although the five selected teams will not have to deal with day-to-day husbandry they will have full responsibility over choosing crops to be established, managing them and implementing grazing strategies, plus all other elements of animal nutrition and health, and deciding when lambs are ready to be marketed. Teams will be judged by a panel of industry experts on their management skills and profitability of the lambs, with a top prize of an electronic tablet device each for the winners. Click here for an application form, which must be completed by 24th April 2014. Details from Gwawr Hughes on 01248 660075 or gwawr.hughesmenterabusnes.co.uk . INVITATION TO EWE NUTRITION EVENT (WITH A SUBSIDY FOR ENGLISH LEVY PAYERS): Eblex has invited NSA members to an event it is running with the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) looking at improving ewe efficiency through better feeding. The event, held on Tuesday 19th April at Nottingham University, will look at traditional ewe wintering diets compared to grazing swedes, options for replacing soya bean meal in ewe diets and whether the currently held metabolisable protein requirements for ewes are correct. Speakers will include independent consultant Lesley Stubbings on the unknowns of nutrition, Poppy Frater of Elbex on all-grass wintering, Jenny Sneddon of Liverpool John Moores University on sheep grazing behaviour, Adasrsquos Kate Philips on nutrition and mastitis, and vet Harriet Fuller on selenium and iodine requirements. The event is open to all at a cost of 60, but is subsidised to 30 for Eblex levy payers. Register at bsas.org.ukewe-nutrition . ALSO SUBSIDISED, is a workshop on the potential of genetics and genomics to livestock and crop breeding programme on Thursday 27th and Friday 29th March in Cambridge. Click here for more information about the Advanced Training Partnership workshop, which farmers can attend with a 60 bursary from the Government. WELSH LAMB TRIUMPH IN SWEDEN: A new supermarket opening on the Swedish-Norwegian border in April will stock nothing but PGI Welsh Lamb, following a successful trade mission by HCC (Meat Promotion Wales). The deal, which is tied up with Swedish importer Farskvaruhuset, will see in excess of 150 tonnes of Welsh Lamb per year supplied to this supermarket alone, including retail and vacuum packed chilled products and 1,000 whole carcases every six to eight weeks to suffice the demand of Norwegians across the border. Farskvaruhuset also plan to take four to six tonnes per month of retails packed Welsh Lamb for another Swedish supermarket chain with up to 400 stores. HCC says Scandinavia has opened its borders to Welsh red meat as a result of its PGI credentials, which guarantees authenticity, provenance and quality and can only be applied to sheep and cattle born and raised in Wales and slaughtered in approved abattoirs. ROLE OF CAP IN THE WIDER ECONOMY HIGHLIGHTED: While the value of agriculture to the economy is frequently overlooked in the UK, it was the main focus at a CAP conference held in Seville, Spain, on Tuesday (18th March) organised by Asaja and Copa-Cogeca (Spanish and cross-European farming organisations respectively). Speakers acknowledged the positive role of agriculture in the economic crisis and the crucial role CAP played in facilitating it, which is being ignored in the current CAP reform. While there was much discussion about ways for farmers to mitigate falling CAP payments, there was also a powerful example of the need to communicate the importance of CAP to consumers. Asaja has been running a communication campaign called lsquoThe new CAP: future for farmers, future for societyrsquo, which included city farm events in Spain and Portugal attracting over 300,000 visitors. The campaign will also hold an event in the European Parliament in Brussels next week to portray positive images of agriculture and show the crucial role farmers play in providing quality, healthy food and environmental services, maintaining rural areas, for society, thanks to the CAP. Hopefully this will raise the profile of agriculture with MEPs who misunderstand the role of CAP. OFFICE FURNITURE, FREE TO A GOOD HOME: NSA is in the process of finding a new tenant for empty office space at The Sheep Centre, Malvern, and has been advised to clear out all our old office furniture. We have amassed a considerable number of desks, tables and metal filing cabinets which we would prefer to re-home than throw away. If you would like any office furniture or know a business in the Worcestershire area that might be able to use them, please call 01684 892661 or email enquiriesnationalsheep.org.uk. All the furniture is free, but you will need to collect it. SEARCH FOR SOMERSET FARMERS TO HELP WITH SHEEP BEHAVIOUR STUDY: NSA has been contacted by Destiny Bradley, an agricultural student at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, who is looking for anyone lambing indoors in a large under-stocked shed in the Somerset area with around 200-300 ewes (commercial white, MuleSuffolk varieties) who wouldnt mind marking 20 in-lamb ewes of variable ages. Destiny is aware of how specific her request is but would welcome enquiries from anyone who thinks they might fit the criteria. She will then set up video cameras to measure the movements of the sheep to monitor their behaviour. Destiny says: ldquoThe study is already proving interesting, showing a high level of assisted lambing on the first two farms I monitored. My aim is to develop implements to encourage natural grazing behaviour within lambing sheds, which can be put into practice next season in the hope of achieving less assisted lambing and less stress to the ewe.rdquo Contact Destiny on dezibradley87gmail or 07784 648193. FREE FEC KIT FOR FARMERS WHO PARTICIPATE IN WORMING PROJECT: Jeremy Fern from the veterinary research company Ridgeway Research is looking for sheep farmers interested in completing a survey linked to the development of a diagnostic tool and new methods to undertake faecal egg counts (FEC). Jeremy and his co-researchers at Bristol University hope the new tool will allow farmers to conduct quick, cheap and easy pen side faecal worm tests in order to decrease the use of wormers and the build up of potential resistance. The survey will find out what farmers would want from such a product and what their general worming practices are. Each person whom completes the survey will be sent a free FEC kit with full instructions and a stamp addressed envelope to return the sample at a time of their choosing. To volunteer to complete the survey please contact Jeremy on 01594 530809 or jeremyridgewayscience.co.uk . HOST FARMERS SOUGHT FOR VISITING KIWIS THEYrsquoRE WILLING TO WORK AND THEY CAN SHEAR NSA has been approached by Hugh Abbiss and Sam Hodsell, two 21-year-old agricultural students from New Zealand planning a farming tour of the UK this May. Theyrsquore hoping to take in as much of England, Wales and Scotland as they can between Tuesday 6th May and Sunday 18th May and would like to see the country via livestock farms, offering work in return for a visit. ldquoIdeally 24 hours at each farm is about what we are looking for, maybe less depending on what suits,rdquo says Hugh. ldquoWersquore definitely prepared to lend a hand in return for a bed and are both qualified sheep shearers. Our main priority is visiting farms, so at the expense of sightseeing if needs be.rdquo Hugh and Sam both have extensive on-farm experience and can be contacted via Hughrsquos email address hughabbisswindowslive . MONDAY 26TH MAY: NSA NI SHEEPDOG SALE: Held in conjunction with Norbrook Closamectin in Ballymena Market. SHEEP EVENT: NSA SCOT SHEEP: WEDNESDAY 4TH JUNE 2014: At the Berwickshire farm of Quixwood, Grantshouse, courtesy of the Macfarlane family. Details and sponsorship packages from Euan Emslie on 01430 441870 or euanappliedremedies.co.uk . SATURDAY 7TH JUNE: NSA MARCHES REGION YOUNG SHEPHERD OF THE YEAR COMPETITION: Details to follow. MONDAY 9TH JUNE: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING: 7pm at the Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members. WEDNESDAY 11TH JUNE: NSA EASTERN REGION FARM WALK: At Ickworth Park, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, by invitation of Paul Seabrook. To include the Eastern Regionrsquos second Young Shepherds Competition of the year, subject to demand. SHEEP EVENT : NSA SOUTH SHEEP: SATURDAY 28TH JUNE . Blackcap Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, by kind permission of Tony Monnington and family. Details and sponsorship packages from Bob Blanden on 01666 860308 or bobnationalsheep.org.uk . SHEEP EVENT: NSA SHEEP EVENT: WEDNESDAY 30TH JULY 2014 . The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. Details and sponsorship packages from Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helennationalsheep.org.uk . RAM SALE: NSA WALES amp BORDER EARLY RAM SALE: MONDAY 4TH AUGUST . Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or janensaramsales.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA SOUTH WEST REGION RAM SALE: WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST . Exeter Livestock Centre. Contact Sue Martyn on 01409 271385, 07967 512660 or suemnationalsheep.org.uk . RAM SALE: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST . Rugby Farmers Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carrollceressolutions.co.uk . MONDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING: 7pm at the Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members. RAM SALE: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: FRIDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER . Melton Mowbray Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carrollceressolutions.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA WALES amp BORDER MAIN RAM SALE: MONDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER . Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or janensaramsales.co.uk . MONDAY 8TH DECEMBER: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING: 7pm at the Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members. WARWICKSHIRE FARMER WINS FIRST OF SIX SPECIALIST SHEEP FEEDERS GIVEN AWAY BY NSA: Warwickshire farmer Antony Spencer was lsquoover the moonrsquo when he heard he was the first NSA member to win a 3in1 Advantage Feeder in our 2014 membership recruitment campaign. NSA is giving away six of the feeders this year in a free prize draw for both new NSA members as well as existing members who encourage a friend or neighbour to join the association. Mr Spencer, who filled in a membership form at the Lamma machinery show in January, says: ldquoIt was my first time visiting Lamma and, being an out-and-out stock person I had soon worked out from the programme where to make for to get away from the tractors for a bit. I found myself at the Advantage Feeders stand and was quite surprised to see NSA there too. I had been meaning to re-join for quite some time and am very glad to be a member of the NSA again. In this ever uncertain agricultural world itrsquos good to know UK sheep farmers have a voice plus Irsquod forgotten what good bath-time reading Sheep Farmer magazine is And I was absolutely over the moon to hear I was the lucky winner of the feeder as a result of joining up. New members of NSA get automatically entered into the free prize draw, while existing members get one entry for every person they refer to NSA with no limit to the number of entries. The five remaining draws will be staggered through 2014 and peoplersquos odds of winning increase the sooner they get their name in the hat, as all entries are eligible for each subsequent draw if they donrsquot win straight away. Full terms and conditions can be found at nationalsheep.org.ukdraw . GREAT START FOR NSA NEXT GENERATION AMBASSADOR GROUP: The first training session for the NSA Next Generation Ambassador Group (pictured) was held this week (Monday 24th to Wednesday 26th February) in Worcestershire and was a huge success. Those present took advantage of the information on offer and the chance to meet likeminded people with a passion for sheep farming. Farming Connectrsquos Wyn Owen provided an inspirational workshop encouraging the ambassadors to be receptive to change and set themselves immediate and long-term targets for their business and the skills to make time to achieve those objectives. ldquoItrsquos just a dream until you put a on deadline on it,rdquo he said, also providing the skills to make time for doing important business management as well as immediate day-to-day tasks. A team from Eblex delivered the three days of training, with superb practical skills discussed on performance recording, grassland management, body condition scoring, minimising lambing losses and increasing efficiency. Click here to meet the 2014 Ambassadors. ENGLISH COMMITTEE WELCOMES NEW REPS AND ELECTS OTHERS: The NSA English Committee met in London on Thursday (27th February) and welcomed Alan Derryman as a new NSA South West Region representative. NSA Northern Region also elected a new rep at its recent AGM, Greg Dalton, who will be joining the English Committee at the next meeting. The English Committee in turn elected its new representatives for the NSA Finance and General Purposes and UK Policy and Technical Committees Matt Bagley and Bob Blanden were elected for FampGP while Kevin Harrison joins Dan Phipps as the two English reps on UKPampT. The meeting also saw lively discussions cover the topics of the impending sheep movements database and the series of meetings being held around the country (Donrsquot forget the four meetings this week at Ashford and Bakewell markets on Tuesday, and Junction 36 and Hexham on Wednesday), an update and immediate focus on CAP, the Stamp out Scab project that is approaching its conclusion, and Red Tractor Assurance. NSA SCOTLAND WORKSHOP ORGANISED TO DISCUSS CAP: NSA Scottish Region has organised a CAP workshop on Monday 10th March for NSA members and non-members to give their views on issues around CAP in the sheep sector. There will be a focus on the options for splitting area payments between regions and on the possibility of the use of coupled payments. NSA Scotland Regional Development Officer George Milne says: ldquoThis is an important meeting and gives members the opportunity to be involved in discussions prior to NSA Scotland filling in the CAP consultation, which closes on March 17th. We now know Scotland has the opportunity to use up to 5 as a coupled payment in the sheep sector, which is considerably more than the original offer of 2, so needs more careful consideration. Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead has had the go-ahead from Brussels and wersquore just seeking clarification from Owen Paterson to see if he will allow it.rdquo The CAP workshop, which includes guest speaker Douglas Bell, Senior Agricultural Policy Consultant within Farm Business Services at SRUC, will take place from 1pm in the Highland Suite of the MacRobert Pavilion at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8NB. NSA PICKS UP THE CHALLENGE OF RAISING AWARENESS OF CLA IN SHEEP: Following recent discussions at NSA English Committee and NSA UK Policy and Technical Committee about the growing problem of CLA in the UK sheep flock, we welcomed today (Friday 28th February) Dr Mike Fontaine from the Moredun Institute to NSA Head Office to discuss with a small group of NSA members and vets the issues and potential solutions to overcome this damaging disease. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, reports: ldquoIt was widely agreed that more needs to be done to increase awareness of all sheep farmers to the disease as a first step to the industry working together to drive this disease out, an important part of which is to remove the stigma that surrounds having it in your flock. While the Australian vaccine Glanvac is quite widely used under special licence here in the UK, keeping CLA under control in many sire-producing breeding flocks, its use means that blood tests to determine infection are fairly meaningless (the vaccine confusing the test results). Additionally the immunity gained from vaccination is fairly short-lived with a need for an annual vaccination, something that very rarely happens with dangerous consequences. The answer seems to have been pending for some time but does appear to be getting closer a new vaccine and a more accurate blood testing process that are not mutually exclusive. In the meantime NSA will continue to work to raise awareness of CLA and encourage transparency between breeders and buyers with the aim of reducing the risk of CLA and its associated costs to both breeders and commercial sheep farmers.rdquo FOUR NSA MEETINGS THIS WEEK Itrsquos a busy week this week with four NSA meeting planned:- Tuesday evening: NSA CymruWales AGM and liver fluke workshop, 2pm at Hafod-y-Hendre, Royal Welsh Showground. Click here for an agenda and more information. Wednesday afternoon: NSA Electronic Database Meeting, 1pm at Cirencester Market. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by calling 01684 892661 or emailing charlottenationalsheep.org.uk . Wednesday evening: NSA South West AGM and Electronic Database Meeting, 7.30pm at Exeter Livestock Centre. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by register with Sue Martyn on 01409 271385 or suemnationalsheep.org.uk . Thursday evening: NSA Northern Region AGM and guest speakers, 7.30pm at Hexham Auction Mart. Click here an agenda and more information. There are four more NSA Electronic Database Meetings the week after in Ashford, Bakewell, Kendall and Hexham - check out the diary at the bottom of this email. AMENDMENT TO EUROPEAN EID LAW TAKES ANOTHER STEP CLOSER TO REALITY: The option for farmers to tag sheep with their holding number on a single plastic tag (i.e. no individual or electronic identifier) until the day they leave the holding of birth has been passed by the European Parliamentrsquos Agriculture Committee during the process of developing a new EU Animal Health Law. The law is a long way from being completed or implemented, but the adoption of this amendment (tabled by Scottish MEP Alyn Smith and supported by NSA and the Shetland Crofters) by a majority of 28 votes to 12 is an important hurdle cleared. George Milne, NSA Scotland Regional Development Officer, says: ldquoThis is clearly a step in the right direction and the scale of the majority vote shows that at last other countries are beginning to realise and experience the difficulties of EID regulations. Having tried to tell the European Commission on several occasions over the past few years that these regulations were unworkable on a practical basis, it would now seem that they have finally woken up to the situation.rdquo Mr Smith echoes this: ldquoIt shows that there is considerable political will in the European Parliament to re-open the discussions on the sheep EID laws, and that the Commission have to deal with this and the problems that farmers are finding in implementing the rules.rdquo The NSA UK Policy and Technical Committee met with Pamela Thompson from Defra last Friday (7th February) to discuss the EU Animal Health Law, which will be the overarching principle that sits above all animal health regulations in Member States. She says the UK is lobbying hard to ensure the new law sets the framework but leaves the detail to Member States, and that all decisions are based on risk, evidence and science. NSA listed EID regulations (tagging before animals leave the holding of birth and read ratescross compliance penalties) and splitting of carcases under TSE rules as two priorities for sheep farmers, and while it is clear the new law will not repeal the existing EID and TSE regulations it will provide an opportunity to revisit them and bring them into line with the EU Animal Health Law principle of all rules being proportionate to risk. Not surprisingly, the new law has potential pitfalls too, such as passing inspection costs back to farmers and UK forfeiting power to Europe, and so the forthcoming negotiations between the European Parliament, European Council of Ministers and European Commission are crucial. The law is not expected to be passed until 2015 at the earliest, after which there will be a three-year transition before full implementation. NSA will keep members up-to-date on progress. CAP REFORM, THE MOORLAND LINE AND OPEN ACCESS DISCUSSED BY WELSH COMMONS FORUM: Monday (10th February) saw the Welsh Commons Forum meet at the Royal Welsh Showground to receive reports on recent meetings with William Powell and Antoinette Sandbach (respectively Lib.Dem and Conservative spokesmen for Rural Affairs) where issues of CAP reform and the moorland line, along with the open access and recreation discussion paper, were discussed. NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker reports: ldquoThe open access discussion process has been delayed and the latest expectation is that there may be a Welsh Government green paper in April. Discussion on this subject on Monday focused on liability relating to access, and where the responsibility for insurance cover lies (or should lie). Land management restrictions post Glastir agreements came up again and, while assurances have been given that the requirements only last as long as the agreements, with a simple Environmental Impact Assessment required before substantially changing management, communication received by farmers makes the whole process look far more complicated and uncertain. Finally a thorough discussion was held on the need to communicate all the very good things (public goods) that come from sheep farming in upland areas. We have a good story to tell and we need to be telling it morerdquo ELECTRONIC COMMON LAND REGISTER FOR WALES IN 2017: In other news affected common land this week, Minister for Natural Resources and Food Alun Davies, has announced that the current paper based registration system for common land in Wales (established in the 1960s) will be replaced with electronic registers by 2017. He says this will deliver lsquosignificant benefitsrsquo for common land management by creating consistency and 24-hour-a-day access, making it easier for local authorities to process registrations to change the register, easing Glastir administration, and improving response to a disease outbreak that affects animals on common land. Development of the common land electronic register will not start until April 2015, when the Welsh electronic sheep movement database will be up and running, and will take two years and 5m to complete. The electronic system will replace the current large paper legers and maps held by local authorities, making the records easily accessible online and more straight forward to update. Common land in Wales accounts for 8.5 of the total land area (175,000 hectares) 40 of it is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and 50 within the protected landscape of Wales. WEIGHING STOCK AND CALIBRATING GUNS KEY CONCERNS AT SCOPS: The six-monthly SCOPS Steering Group meeting on Thursday (13th February) covered a wide range of topics linked to sustainable control of sheep parasites and made some important decisions about priorities for SCOPS this year and beyond. It was agreed that the basic messages about administering wormers and flukicides correctly could not be reiterated enough, particularly as the majority of reports of a product not working are link to incorrect administration rather than a drug resistance. NSA members are reminded that they always need to calibrate drench guns before use, including when the gun is brand new. Use a calibration pot or remove the plunger from a 10ml syringe, put your thumb over the end and squirt the dose into it, making sure you have got rid of any air bubbles first. Adjust the gun until the dose delivered is correct. Drenching guns should also be well maintained and replaced regularly. Clean with warm soapy water after use and check springs and tubes to make sure there are no kinks that will form air bubbles. Klik disini untuk informasi lebih lanjut. RABI OFFERING EMERGENCY GRANTS TO FLOOD-HIT FARMERS: The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) says it wants to give emergency grants to flood-hit farmers and will accept applications as soon as farmers have the recovering from the immediate crisis of keeping themselves and livestock safe. RABI has fast-tracked the application process in readiness and is accepting enquiries via 03003 037373 and email grantsrabi.org.uk. The Prince of Wales has given 25,000 to RABI specifically for flood-hit farmers in Somerset and the charity is welcoming other (smaller) donations from farmers wishing to support other in their time of need. RABI has set up a special fund with the Royal Bath and West of England Society to receive donations from businesses and individuals, which it will distribute with the help of a number of agencies to farming businesses to help their recovery. Click here to donate or find out more at rabi.org.uk and find out more below about a (coincidental) NSA-backed fundraising campaign for RABI and its Scottish sister charity. In addition, as a result of many people offering donations of forage rather than cash, Sedgemoor Livestock Market is coordinating collection and distribution of deliveries. Contact Rebecca Horsington to arrange a delivery time on 01278 410278 or rhorsingtonhotmail . SPONSOR OUR lsquoBOOZE FREE FEBrsquo CHAMPIONS IN AID OF RABI: Four NSA office holders are taking part in a month-long lsquodryathlonrsquo in aid of RABI and RSABI this February. The booze ban has been organised by the Farmers Guardian to mark its 170th anniversary, which falls this month, and Farmers Guardian staff and other industry representatives are also taking up the challenge. NSA faces giving up their pints include NSA Chairman John Geldard (pictured top left), NSA South East Regional Chairman Andrew Barr (top right), NSA South East Regional Manager Bob Blanden (bottom left) and NSA Central Region Committee Member and Newton Rigg Head of Agriculture Matt Bagley (bottom right). You can support those taking part by donating online here or by texting ldquoFGBF70rdquo followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070. DATE OF NSA BREED SOCIETY FORUM ANNOUNCED: The date of the next NSA Breed Society Forum has been announced as Thursday 8th May at Hafod-y-Hendre, Royal Welsh Showground. NSA-Affiliated Breed Societies will be able to send two representatives each and will be sent the full itinerary in the near future. TIGHT LAMB SUPPLIES AHEAD, BUT ON-FARM IMPROVEMENTS ALSO NEEDED TO DRIVE PROFITABILITY: There was a great deal of positivity from Paul Heyhoe, AHDBEblex Sheep and Beef Senior Analyst, at Wednesdayrsquos Eblex Outlook Conference in London (12th February). He highlighted 2013rsquos strong export values and furthermore predicted that a lack of growth in the UK breeding flock in 2013, coupled with the average lambing rates expected in 2014, would lead to tight domestic sheep meat supplies for at least the first few months of this year. He said: ldquoThe Defra UK June 2013 census showed a 1 rise in lamb numbers, however this was driven by unexpected results from Wales that indicated lamb numbers were up 7 on the year. Industry opinion suggests these numbers are too high, so these forecasts continue to assume a lower figure for lamb numbers. While production forecasts for the first half of 2014 are higher than previous levels, they are still substantially below year-earlier levels, as the carryover of lamb from 2012 made production in early 2013 unusually high. A lower number of adult sheep culls are also currently expected, after what has mostly been a better season.rdquo This tight supply, along with uncertainty surrounding the economic climate in Europe, may prevent the UK from fulfilling high export potential in the near future, Mr Heyhow said, but sheep meat stocks are set to be tight globally, including in New Zealand, resulting in relatively low UK imports for at least this year. Although supplies may be pinched, there are global opportunities for the UK industry, Mr Heyhoe said. Whereas most EU flocks are dwindling, the UK flock is not. A continued fall in EU production is predicted, as China ups its imports. While New Zealand focuses on this new market, demand from Europe and the US continues this, Mr Heyhoe points out, is a big opportunity for the UK. But the challenge for UK sheep farming is profitability, he warned, advocating increased output and streamlined costs as the key to on-farm success. Mr Heyhoe concluded that this is a pivotal point for the UK sheep industry, with a need to restore confidence within the sector and this yearrsquos weather and prices proving crucial. Mr Heyhoe said: ldquoWe have got a product the world wants but we need to make it profitable and sustainablerdquo. PLEA TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR STOLEN PEDIGREE SHEEP: Lancashire farmer Dan Towers has asked NSA members to keep an eye out for 58 pedigree Beltex and cross-bred recipient ewes stolen on Friday night between 6.30pm and 7.30am from isolated lambing sheds at Scale House Farm, Wray. All the animals can be identified by red marks on the backs of their heads and scan marks on their huggin bone. Some of the recipients with implanted embryos have marks on their backs and notches out of the end of both ears and at the top of the right ear. Those ewes which were imported from Belgium have tags beginning with lsquoBErsquo and some of the pure ewes had a K on their back. NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker said ldquoAs with any potentially stolen sheep, members should keep an eye out for anything suspicious and contact the police if they have any suspicion. NSA continues to hear reports of sheep rustling and we urge farmers to stay vigilant, and ask others to do the same, in order to protect their flocks.rdquo LIVELY DISCUSSION WITH THE HAMPSHIRE SHEEP GROUP: Over 40 Hampshire Sheep Group members turned their backs on the effects of the weather (with some even travelling from the Isle of Wight) and attended a presentation and discussion with NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker at Stockbridge on Thursday evening (13th February). After an overview of the NSArsquos work, the discussion was broad and included key market and sheep industry trends, policy issues such as CAP reform, the movements database and sheep identification, and then a discussion on the importance of moving the sheep industry more rapidly forward in terms of health and disease and productivity status, in order to protect our industry and maintain the diversity and culture that we have. Phil reports: ldquoThe discussion was lively, with most of the frustration being around a lack of clarity of movement recording rules with inconsistency of guidance coming from several quarters, RPA included. It was even suggested that the RPA hadnrsquot heard of the NSA something we will address immediatelyrdquo NEW ADAPTATION OF RED TRACTOR LOGO FOR CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: Assured Food Standards have created a new lsquoMade with Red Tractorrsquo logo to appear on ready meals and pies. The familiar Red Tractor logo can only be used on primary products, such a pack of lamb chops or a roasting joint, so the new logo allows the farm assurance logo to be used on products where the meat is only one element of the product. There are strict rules governing its use, such as 100 of the meat having to be British farm assured not just some of it, and guidance that processors should try and source Red Tractor Assured products for the rest of the meal too i.e. potatoes for a shepherdrsquos pie not just lamb. FREE UPLAND TRAINING EVENTS IN NORTHUMBERLAND: NSA members have been invited by Strutt and Parker to attend a series of free events they are funding with financial support from the Rural Development Programme for England. The events are targeted at farmers with a least half their land in SDA and start at 6.30pm with refreshments provided. There is no fee to attend but you must book a place by calling 01670 500871 or emailing ben.rogersonstruttandparker. Newcastle House, Rothbury: Monday 17th February for CAP post-2015 Monday 24th February for tenancy issues Monday 3rd March for business monitoring and Monday 10th March for resources and energy. Riverdale Hotel, Bellingham: Thursday 20th February for CAP post-2015 Wednesday 26th February for tenancy issues Thursday 6th March for business monitoring and Thursday 13th March for resources and energy. YOUR VIEWS SOUGH ON MINERAL SUPPLEMENTATION OF EWES: We have received a request from Hayley Jackson, a student in her final year at the Royal Agricultural University, for sheep farmers in England and Wales to complete a questionnaire about mineral supplements and administration methods. Completing the questionnaire will help Hayley complete her research into the effects of mineral deficiencies and how timingadministration improve ewe production and welfare. Click here for the survey, which is anonymous and should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. If you have questions about the questionnaire please email Hayley on hayleyjayne.jacksonstudent.rau.ac.uk . ON-FARM APPRENTICESHIP WANTED: Agriculture student Rebecca Bradley (19) is looking for a level 2 apprenticeship in Northern England, which involves 40 hours per week working on farm plus one day at college for a 12-month period. Rebecca has already completed her level 2 diploma in agriculture and the first year of her level 3 at Newton Rigg College. She lives in Seaham, County Durham, but is willing to travel for a placement. Rebecca has experience lambing, is happy to work with all livestock and is very keen to learn. She has a full UK driving licence, experience driving tractors and can carrying out basic maintenance. She can provide references and can be contacted at rebeccaxbtinternet or 07805 254404. TUESDAY 18TH FEBRUARY: NSA CYMRUWALES REGION AGM: 2pm at Hafod-y-Hendre, Royal Welsh Showground. The meeting will be followed by guest speakers Dr Neil Mackintosh, vet Kate Hovers and Margaret Dalton on lsquoExperiences of dealing with liver fluke, including where drug resistance maybe a problemrsquo. Click here for an agenda and minutes of the last meeting. WEDNESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY: NSA ELECTRONIC DATABASE MEETING 1 OF 6: 1pm at Cirencester Auction Market, Cotswold Agricultural Centre, Driffield Road, Cirencester, GL7 5QA. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so please spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by calling 01684 892661 or emailing charlottenationalsheep.org.uk . WEDNESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY: NSA SOUTH WEST REGION AGM AND NSA ELECTRONIC DATABASE MEETING 2 OF 6: 7.30pm at Exeter Livestock Centre. The AGM will be followed by a presentation by SouthWestern, the company providing the new electronic movement database for Defra from 1st April 2014. This is your opportunity to hear how the database will work and ask questions about how it will affect you. Donrsquot miss what might be one of the only opportunities to hear SouthWestern speak in South West England. The meeting is open to non-members too, so spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register with Sue Martyn on 01409 271385 or suemnationalsheep.org.uk . THURSDAY 20TH FEBRUARY: NSA NORTHERN REGION AGM: 7.30pm at the Tynedale Function Suite, Hexham Auction Mart, Hexham, Northumberland. To be followed by speakers on their trip to New Zealand, David Raine and Phil Stocker, plus a report by our two regional sponsored young farmers, Tom Carrick, High Crossgil, and James Raine, Randalholme, on their day spent at the Northern Farming Conference. TUESDAY 4TH MARCH: NSA ELECTRONIC DATABASE MEETING 3 OF 6: 12 noon at Ashford Market, Monument Way, Orbital Park, Ashford, TN24 0HB. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so please spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by calling 01684 892661 or emailing charlottenationalsheep.org.uk . TUESDAY 4TH MARCH: NSA ELECTRONIC DATABASE MEETING 4 OF 6: 7.45pm at Bakewell Market, The Agricultural Business Centre, Bakewell, DE45 1AH. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so please spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by calling 01684 892661 or emailing charlottenationalsheep.org.uk . WEDNESDAY 5TH MARCH: NSA ELECTRONIC DATABASE MEETING 5 OF 6: 1pm at J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7FP. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so please spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by calling 01684 892661 or emailing charlottenationalsheep.org.uk . WEDNESDAY 5TH MARCH: NSA ELECTRONIC DATABASE MEETING 6 OF 6: 7.30pm at Hexham Auction Market, Tyne Green, Hexham, NE46 3SG. Free entry and open to both NSA members and non-members so please spread the word. Booking is not essential, but for catering reasons please register by calling 01684 892661 or emailing charlottenationalsheep.org.uk . SHEEP EVENT: NSA SCOT SHEEP: WEDNESDAY 4TH JUNE 2014: At the Berwickshire farm of Quixwood, Grantshouse, courtesy of the Macfarlane family. Details and sponsorship packages from Euan Emslie on 01430 441870 or euanappliedremedies.co.uk . SHEEP EVENT: NSA SOUTH SHEEP: SATURDAY 28TH JUNE . Blackcap Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, by kind permission of Tony Monnington and family. Details and sponsorship packages from Bob Blanden on 01666 860308 or bobnationalsheep.org.uk . SHEEP EVENT: NSA SHEEP EVENT: WEDNESDAY 30TH JULY 2014 . The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. Details and sponsorship packages from Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helennationalsheep.org.uk . RAM SALE: NSA WALES amp BORDER EARLY RAM SALE: MONDAY 4TH AUGUST . Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or janensaramsales.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA SOUTH WEST REGION RAM SALE: WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST . Exeter Livestock Centre. Contact Sue Martyn on 01409 271385, 07967 512660 or suemnationalsheep.org.uk . RAM SALE: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST . Rugby Farmers Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carrollceressolutions.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: FRIDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER . Melton Mowbray Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carrollceressolutions.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA WALES amp BORDER MAIN RAM SALE: MONDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER . Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or janensaramsales.co.uk . DONrsquoT MISS THE NSA EASTERN REGION WINTER FAIR - OR YOUR CHANCE TO ENTER THE YOUNG SHEPHERD OF THE YEAR COMPETITION: With only a couple of weeks left until the NSA Eastern Region Winter Fair on Friday 31st January at Melton Mowbray Market, Leicestershire, there has been a last minute flurry of activity with more trade stands booked that at the previous event and lots of excitement about an action-packed day. The event is FREE for NSA members - and if you bring along a friend or neighbour and they sign up on the day, they will get free entry too and yoursquoll both get entered into a free prize draw for an Advantage 3in1 Feeder. Entry for non-members is 5 per person. Click here for more information about the free prize draw and here for information about whatrsquos on offer at the NSA Eastern Region Winter Fair. It is also not too late to enter the Young Shepherd of the Year competition at the Eastern Region Winter Fair. Competitors must be 26 years old or less and will complete five tasks to be in with a chance to share a prize fund of 500 and qualify for the national final in July. Click here to download an entry form. ALSO ON FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY, itrsquos not too late to book tickets for the NSA Scottish Region Annual Dinner at The Roxburghe Hotel (Crowne Plaza), 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Click here a booking form, which must be returned by Monday. The dinner will be proceeded by the NSA Scottish Region AGM at 4pm, with a drinks reception at 7pm ahead of the dinner and guest speaker. We look forward to seeing lots of members at both the AGM and dinner. OTHER REGIONAL ACTIVITY INCLUDES an NSA Central Region Committee Meeting on Wednesday 22nd January and an NSA Marches Region and Eblex Lambing Management Meeting evening on Tuesday 4th February - times and venues at the bottom of the page. The Marches lambing event will focus on the nutritional and health requirements of ewes in the critical pre-lambing and post-lambing periods, a market update and outlook, a summary of health and welfare issues at lambing, and a discussion on sheep scab, how to keep it out of your flock and treatment best practice. The event is open to NSA members and non-members so spread the word. Contact the Eblex events office on 01904 771211 or brpeventseblex.ahdb.org.uk to book a free place. WALES TO ADOPT THREE-REGION MODEL FOR FUTURE CAP PAYMENTS: Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food in Wales, made his much-anticipated CAP announcement on Tuesday (14th January) following a consultation period in the autumn that NSA CymruWales Region responded to along with large numbers of other stakeholder groups and individuals. Mr Davies said Wales will move from historical payments to area payments over five years (a transition period of 2015-2019) and the area payments will be based on a three-region model of moorland, severely disadvantaged and less favouredlowland. Indications are that moorland will get around 17ha, SDA 166ha and LFAlowland 200ha. Wales will also cap the maximum amount single farm businesses can receive and insist all farms meet the EUrsquos three greening requirements (permanent grassland, crop diversification and ecological focus areas) to get 30 of their direct payment. Given that farms with more than 70 grassland automatically qualify under greening, NSA biggest concern over Mr Daviesrsquo announcement is the very low payment rate for moorland. We are very worried about the future for farms that are predominantly moorland and will ensure we continue to work hard to influence Pillar Two of the CAP (rural development) so money is available to farmers to top up their shrinking allocation from Pillar One (direct payments). MEANTIME, THE CAP FIGHT CONTINUES IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. The consultation period in Northern Ireland draws to a close before the end of January and NSA NI Regional Development Officer Edward Adamson reports a lot of activity this week to ensure the voice of sheep farmers is heard in the negotiations. He says: ldquoAfter the first CAP agreement in 2005 we feel the sheep farmer was discriminated against, but this time DARDrsquos suggested model would help rectify that. However, there are interested parties proposing an alternative two-region model which would reduce payments to farmers in the Severely Disadvantaged Areas, which includes some beef and dairy farmers as well as many sheep farmers. This week has seen several meetings to try and counter these latest proposals. It will be several weeks before we know the final outcome to be decided by DARD and our Minister of Agriculture - we wait in anticipationrdquo The consultation in Scotland does not close until 17th March. George Milne, NSA Scottish Regionrsquos Development Officer, says: ldquoThe consultation is lengthy and detailed with 56 questions requiring detailed thought in order to provide the best way forward for the sheep sector. We will be working on this over the next two months and an updated CAP presentation will be made to NSA members at the Scottish AGM on 31st January. I am also available to attend meetings in your area if required. rdquo Contact George on 01334 472403 or george.nsabtconnect . TOP LEVEL MEETING TO KEEP SHEEP IN THE POLITICAL SPOTLIGHT: On Tuesday (14th January) NSA Chairman John Geldard and NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker met with George Eustice (Minister for Farming, Food, and Marine Environment) and a team of top ranking Defra staff to discuss sheep farming. Phil reports: ldquoWe started by saying there is no doubt sheep farming is a vital part of UK farming, but there are a number of reasons why we feel it is being constrained from reaching its potential. In the uplands stocking rates are still being driven down on conservation grounds, and often well below rates that are essential to optimise biodiversity. In the lowlands the role of sheep in rotational farming and as soil improvers is not being recognised, and cross compliance penalties and an absence of EID and movements recording tolerance is seriously discouraging many mixed farms and large arable estates from retaining or setting up sheep enterprises. Furthermore there are undoubtedly production gains that could be made if we could encourage sheep farmers to adopt the best possible health and disease control management.rdquo This was one of a schedule of routine meetings that the Minister has requested with the NSA with an intention to work in partnership to better optimise the contribution to the Governmentrsquos public agenda of this great farming sector. WORK CONTINUES ON BAD WEATHER PLANNING: Regular readers of the NSA Weekly Email Update will have recently read our warning about the need for good winter feed planning and contingency against the threat of bad winter weather. This is as a result of the UK being warned by the EU against too freely issuing relaxations in HGV driversrsquo hours during bad weather. Our advice on feed planning still stands, as the recent flooding and last yearrsquos spring snow highlight the massive disruption bad weather has on farm deliveries, but NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker also reports on a meeting this week that Defra helpfully facilitated. He says: ldquoThe meeting looked at what can be done to explain our situation more in the EU and to consider what agricultural suppliers, transporters and farmers could do to reduce the need for relaxation. Information provided to the meeting suggested 27 of the 35 cases of recent EU relaxation were for the UK, but as an island our weather is undoubtedly more changeable and unpredictable than on mainland Europe and this needs to be understood. If we do experience bad weather that results in transport difficulties in this second half of the winter we should be warned that relaxations will be a lsquolast resortrsquo. So every effort should be made to watch weather forecasts and ensure reasonable stocks of delivered feed. It is also worth reminding farmers that you can clear and grit roads to enable access to farms - and red diesel can be used to carry out this work.rdquo WELSH SHEEP SCAB REPORT APPROVED FOR NEXT LEVEL - BUT WALES LOOKS TO FOLLOW SIMILAR FORMAT TO ENGLAND ON FUTURE ANIMAL HEALTH WORK: NSA CymruWales is one of several stakeholder groups involved in the Welsh Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Steering Grouprsquos sheep scab sub-group, which has created a proposal for a long-term strategy to eradicate sheep scab in Wales. This work culminated on Tuesday (14th January) at an AHWSSG meeting when the group agreed the proposal would be put forward to Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food. If Mr Davies agrees the eradication plan can go out to consultation we will be one step closer to tackling sheep scab in Wales. However, Tuesdayrsquos AHWSSG meeting was the last one, as the Welsh Government has decided instead to create a similar body to the Animal Health and Welfare Board in England, with appointed (and paid) public officials instead of contributions from stakeholder groups such as NSA. Unlike the English Boardrsquos four public officials, the new Welsh body will have six positions - five of these will be advertised in national and farming publications towards the end of January and the sixth will be filled by the existing AHWSSG Chairman. NSA CymruWales is nervous about how the future of the decision-making process but will follow the changes over the coming months and keep members informed. We also encourage NSA members in Wales to consider applying for one of the public positions, as we would very much like to see active farmers taking up the new roles. SHEEP RUSTLER SENT TO PRISON FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS: A strong deterrent has been issued to all sheep rustlers operating in the UK, with Robert Martin Birnie of Longtown, Carlisle, given a three year and seven month prison sentence and ordered to pay 2,000 compensation to his victim for stealing 270 sheep from a farm in Cumbria. KEEN SHEARER LOOKING FOR A GANG IN YORKSHIRE: We have been contacted by 17-year-old Alex Clapham who is looking for a shearing gang to join in West Yorkshire or somewhere near. He is a keen shearer and is looking for more work and experience this coming season. Alex can be contacted on alexclaphamlive.co.uk or 079996 93195. NOMINATIONS REQUESTED FOR BRITISH WOOL REPS: The British Wool Marketing Board is inviting nominations for board members in its English Southern, Welsh Northern and Scottish Southern regions. Board members are expected to work approximately 30 days a year attending board meetings over a period of two or three days each month, as well as other local and national BWMB business. Remuneration is around 8,800 annually plus expenses. Email nominations to jeanmurphybritishwool.org.uk . NOMINATIONS ALSO SOUGHT FOR AGRISEARCH SHEEP ADVISORY COMMITTEE IN NI: AgriSearch in Northern Ireland is looking for a sheep farmer with a passion for progress and problem-solving to join their Sheep Advisory Committee. Advisory committees usually meet three times a year to develop ideas for new research and review research proposals, and committee members are paid travelling expenses to attend meetings. Applications close on Friday 24th January. Contact Jason Rankin on 02887 789770 or visit agrisearch.org . REGISTER NOW FOR OPEN FARM SUNDAY: NSA members intending to host an Open Farm Sunday event on 8th June 2014 are encouraged to register as soon as possible at farmsunday.org. You can also use the website to find details of free information events being held between February and April to provide advice, tips and new ideas for host farms. Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday Manager, says: ldquoOpen Farm Sunday is fantastic opportunity for farmers to engage with the public, tell their story, and showcase all that is best about British farming and food. You donrsquot have to put on a big event. Events can be any size or format to suit your farm, ranging from a guided farm walk through to a full open day. One of the great things about Open Farm Sunday is the uniqueness of each event so it is up to you to decide on the size and type of event you run.rdquo NSArsquos communication team would also like to hear from an NSA member hosting an Open Farm Sunday event drop us an email to enquiriesnationalsheep.org.uk . OVERSEAS TOURS PLANNED AS PART OF TEXEL CELEBRATIONS: As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, the British Texel Sheep Society is planning two overseas tours for members one to Switzerland and another to New Zealand. Closer to home will be a series of receptions, a large presence at the NSA Sheep Event on Wednesday 30th July and celebratory events at their four national sales, with anniversary medals presented to class winners. The ruby anniversary celebrations will culminate with an AGM and social weekend in Chester from 7th to 9th November 2014. Details from the society office on 02476 699629 or officetexel.co.uk . SHEEPY NUMBER PLATE ON OFFER: NSA members have been offered first refusal on the personalised number plate C9 BAA. If you are interested in purchasing the number plate for 600 you have until Monday to contact John at Connollys Euronics Centre on salesconnollysdigital or 0141 649 4758, after which the plate will be listed for general sale. SHEEP EVENT: NSA EASTERN REGION WINTER FAIR: FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY: 10am-4pm at Melton Mowbray Market. Click here for event details enquiries to Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or jonathanceressolutions.co.uk . FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY: SCOTTISH REGION AGM AND DINNER: AGM at 4pm followed by drinks reception and dinner at 7pm at The Roxburghe Hotel (Crowne Plaza), 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Click here for a dinner tickets booking form. TUESDAY 4TH FEBRUARY: NSA MARCHES REGIONEBLEX LAMBING MANAGEMENT MEETING: 6.30pm-9.30pm at the NSA Sheep Centre, Malvern, WR13 6PH. A joint meeting with Eblex focusing on the nutritional and health requirements of ewes in the critical pre-lambing and post-lambing periods. There will also be a market update and outlook, a summary of health and welfare issues at lambing, and a discussion on sheep scab, how to keep it out of your flock and treatment best practice. NSA members and non-members welcome contact the Eblex events office on 01904 771211 or brpeventseblex.ahdb.org.uk to book a free place. TUESDAY 18TH FEBRUARY: NSA CYMRUWALES REGION AGM: 2pm at Hafod-y-Hendre, Royal Welsh Showground. WEDNESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY: NSA SOUTH WEST REGION AGM: 7.30pm at Exeter Livestock Centre. THURSDAY 20TH FEBRUARY: NSA NORTHERN REGION AGM: 7.30pm at the Tynedale Function Suite, Hexham Auction Mart, Hexham, Northumberland. To be followed by speakers on their trip to New Zealand, David Raine and Phil Stocker, plus a report by our two regional sponsored young farmers, Tom Carrick, High Crossgil, and James Raine, Randalholme, on their day spent at the Northern Farming Conference. SHEEP EVENT: NSA SCOT SHEEP: WEDNESDAY 4TH JUNE 2014: At the Berwickshire farm of Quixwood, Grantshouse, courtesy of the Macfarlane family. Details and sponsorship packages from Euan Emslie on 01430 441870 or euanappliedremedies.co.uk . SHEEP EVENT: NSA SOUTH SHEEP: SATURDAY 28TH JUNE . Blackcap Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, by kind permission of Tony Monnington and family. Details and sponsorship packages from Bob Blanden on 01666 860308 or bobnationalsheep.org.uk . SHEEP EVENT: NSA SHEEP EVENT: WEDNESDAY 30TH JULY 2014 . The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. Details and sponsorship packages from Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helennationalsheep.org.uk . RAM SALE: NSA WALES amp BORDER EARLY RAM SALE: MONDAY 4TH AUGUST . Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or janensaramsales.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA SOUTH WEST REGION RAM SALE: WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST . Exeter Livestock Centre. Contact Sue Martyn on 01409 271385, 07967 512660 or suemnationalsheep.org.uk . RAM SALE: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST . Rugby Farmers Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carrollceressolutions.co.uk . RAM SALE: NSA EASTERN REGION RAM SALE: FRIDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER . Melton Mowbray Market. Contact Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or carrollceressolutions.co.uk . RAM SALE : NSA WALES amp BORDER MAIN RAM SALE: MONDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER . Royal Welsh Showground. Contact Jane Smith on 01291 673939 or janensaramsales.co.uk . NSA SUPPORTS THE NEXT GENERATION WITH NEW WEBSITE AND LAUNCH OF AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME: A joint event held by NSA and RASE on Tuesday (8th October) in Wiltshire saw NSA take the next step in our project to support young people in the sheep sector, by launching a NSA Next Generation website and opening applications for the 2014 Ambassador Programme. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, reports: ldquo Tuesdayrsquos event was the perfect opportunity to unveil the next phase of NSA Next Generation, which now has its own branding and a dedicated website signposting young people to opportunities within the sheep sector. The nsanextgeneration.org.uk website provides links to training, funding and scholarship opportunities, it lists colleges and universities around the UK offering agricultural courses, and offers advice on starting your own sheep flock. It also brings together all the existing NSA activity, including our very popular matchmaking service for students looking for on-farm placements at lambing time. The website will be added to over time and we welcome comments from people with suggestions for additional content - just email youngentrantsnationalsheep.org.uk with your suggestions. ldquoNSA was also delighted to open the application process for the NSA Next Generation Ambassador Group 2014 today, which is the next stage of our project and something we are very excited about. By the end of this year we will have selected up to 12 young people with a real enthusiasm for the sheep sector and provide them a unique experience throughout 2014, offering technical and personal development, covering elements such as market selection, food chain development, sheep husbandry, brand development and adding value, optimising genetics, time management, business planning, presentation skills, conflict resolution and promotion of the sheep sector. With ambassadors selected from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the programme will provide the opportunity to meet likeminded people throughout the UK, as well as key people within the sheep sector. Application forms can be found on the new website and we urge you to have a look, either for yourself or someone else you know.rdquo Tuesdayrsquos event in Wiltshire, which was kindly hosted by Tim White, a self-made sheep farmer on an organic farm at Sutton Mandeville, where he has grazing rights, attracted around 60 young people under the age of about 35 years, all with an interest in pursuing a future in the sheep industry. Tim provided an inspirational presentation and farm walk about his route into farming, while NSA South East Committee Member Marie Prebble talked about her own individual experience of starting out. Catherine Nakielny and Rob Hodgkins talked about their Nuffield Scholarship travels learning about innovative sheep breeding techniques, and Charlotte Johnstone of RASE delivered an informative video presentation by Sam Bullingham, who won the NSA Sheep South West Shepherd of the Future 2013 competition, describing his experiences as a first generation contract shepherd. The event saw much interaction, resulting in deep discussion and lively debate amongst the delegates. Charlotte from RASE says she has already received positive feedback from those who attended and is considering organising a follow on event. SIGN UP FOR THE NSA SHEEP CONTRACTORS EVENT: Are you are Sheep Contractor or carry out certain aspects of sheep husbandry for others Are you thinking you might like to set up a contracting business in the future or just interested in finding out more If so this event is not to be missed. Being held near Cirencester Market in Gloucestershire on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November, the event will provide the opportunity for contractors to meet likeminded people and compare trades, while speakers and other guests will cover practical topics, including advice from the British Wool Marketing Board on shearing, a look at different control methods for sheep ectoparasites, and tips for running a contractor business (managing cash flows, accounts and billing systems). There will also be a sheep handling workshop to help contractors think about efficient and effective ways to move sheep through handling systems. Please register your interest with NSA Head Office on 01684 892661 or enquiriesnationalsheep.org.uk . NOMINATIONS REQUESTED FOR ANNUAL AWARD: NSA CymruWales Region are inviting nominations and applications for its annual Achievement Award, presented each year to recognise the contribution of someone under the age of 35 to the sheep industry. Anyone born, working or living in Wales is eligible for the award and applications must be received by Thursday 31st October 2013. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to the NSA CymruWales Committee Meeting on 19th November in Neuadd Henllan on the Royal Welsh Showground to explain why they deserve the award and about their farming enterprise. Previous winners are sheep consultant Catherine Nakielny, Welsh shearing champion Gareth Daniels, NSA Cymru YFC Committee Rep Marc Jones, who also works for ADAS, and Lleyn breeder Dylan Jones. Click here for an application form below, and for more information contact Helen Davies, NSA CymruWales Regional Development Officer on helennationalsheep.org.uk. 01938 590535 or 07976 803066. REMEMBER QUARANTINE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BOUGHT-IN SHEEP: Novartis Animal Health has highlighted findings from their Farming Against Wormer Resistance (FAWR) campaign, to underline the importance of quarantine treatments for bought-in animals. Responses to a FAWR survey showed just under half of farmers did not separate incoming stock, 32 were not worming at quarantine, and of the 68 that did worm, well over half were using one active only. All these practices are likely to increase the risk of spreading resistant worms. In fact only 25 of survey respondees used the recommended products and, according to Lesley Stubbings, SCOPS representative and FAWR panel member, only 10 carried out an effective quarantine routine. Lesley says: ldquoSheep farms are at their most vulnerable when they are bringing in stock from markets or other farms. Quarantine is the only effective defence against a number of serious health threats, including resistant worms and sheep scab. Even expensive sheep from reputable sources can still carry problems - you canrsquot tell just by looking at them - so the only way to be sure is to implement a rigorous quarantine protocol using effective treatments. Quarantine should be regarded as an investment in your flock. Even if it is just lsquoa few ramsrsquo the proper procedure must be followed. And when buying in replacements, yoursquore not going to know the impact of buying in resistant worms in the short term, possibly not for years. So it can never be regarded as being expensive to spend a bit of money on these few animals - even though they are only small proportion of the flock - because you are protecting the rest.rdquo Click here for more information about quarantine treatments, and visit scops.org.uk for more detail. HALAL ASSURANCE SCHEME TO BE DISCUSSED: A draft halal assurance scheme will be one of the things discussed at the first Eblex-organiseed halal forum on Thursday 24th October at Chesford Grange Hotel, Warwickshire. Also on the agenda will be a discussion on forthcoming legislation and a look at a new slaughter education film, laying out the different methods of religious slaughter. The event is open to all - please email alex.mobbseblex.ahdb.org.uk or call 02476 692051 if you have an interest in attending. GLASTIR REMINDERS FOR FARMERS IN WALES: The Welsh Government is urging Glastir applicants to respond promptly if they are contacted by a Welsh Government Divisional Office or Natural Resources Wales representative for additional information, as delayed responses may prevent a Glastir contract being in place by 1st January 2014. Other important dates include:- 31st October for any remaining claims for slurrymanure storage grants under the Glastir Efficiency Grants schemes, and 31st December for waterenergy and manureslurry machinery. 31st December to complete capital works - this includes any fencing work, tree planting or construction under Glastir Entry 2013 contracts capital works under Glastir Advanced are to be completed as scheduled in your contract. Of capital works cannot be undertaken in the agreed location or within the required timescales, you are advised to contact Welsh Government as soon as possible. MAKE A DATE FOR THE MOREDUN ROAD SHOW: You will all have received a yellow sheet tucked inside your copy of Sheep Farmer with the dates of the annual Moredun Road Show. But to remind you that it kicks off on Monday 11th November at Ashford Livestock Market, Kent, with worm and liver fluke control as the topic. There are five other dates in England and Wales before the roadshow moves up to Scotland for another four dates. The final event slips back over the border into England on Thursday 21st November at Hexham. The Moredun meetings are very highly rated and we encourage you all to attend one evening all meetings are at 7.30pm. Click here for a full list of events. WANTED - FULL TIME SHEPHERD We are a mixed farm of dairy, beef, sheep and some arable, located in the beautiful Blackdown Hills on the DevonSomerset border. Currently with about 1200 breeding ewes, which we are constantly seeking to expand, we are looking for someone who can take on the day to day work of our flock, with a strong work ethic, good stockmanship and a careful nature. As well as flock work the role will also include being able to get involved with most other aspects of general farm work, and ideally any applicant will have good tractor driving skills for times such as silaging and hay making. This is a very basic outline of what we are looking for, and we will always try to make the role suit a good candidate. We feel it is best suited to someone with great enthusiasm as we will work together to improve and expand our flock. For further details please contact Patrick 07782 191260 or email stevensfarminggmail AIMS CONFERENCE NSA was proud to support and attend the AIMS (Association of Independent Meat Traders) conference last Saturday held at the Celtic Manor just outside Newport. A fast a furious series of presentations on the positioning of meat in the marketplace, effective risk based controls, and new initiatives to improve meat quality made for a very interesting morning. All our routes to market are equally important for the UK sheep industry and there is no doubt that our small and medium scale independent sector, represented by AIMS, are an essential and desirable part of the mix. CAP IN WALES NSA was involved in a number of CAP related meetings in Wales this week as the pressure builds to ensure that both the 1st Pillar (SFP) and the 2nd Pillar (RDP programmes) continue to move in a direction that supports the farming industry in this next programme and beyond. The response deadline to the WG consultation on direct support has been extended until 8th November and we are expecting the proposed new moorland line maps to be available over the next few days (this being a crucial part of working out the impact of the land category payments options). In addition much work is being done in Wales on the Rural Development Programme and it is heartening to see farming and food production being recognized as the central driver with environment and social outcomes as integral. AND FINALLY A MESSAGE FROM PHIL STOCKER I hope all recipients of this e newsletter will join me in congratulating Jo Pugh and Ben Briggs and send them our very best wishes for their wedding day this coming Saturday (tomorrow). Jo will come back in just over 2 weeks time as Mrs Briggs so as you start to see a new name appear over the following weeks yoursquoll know that itrsquos not a new person - just a new name. Jo has worked incredibly hard (even harder than normal) over this last week or so, making sure her backlog of work is cleared before she goes away. I hope both Jo and Ben manage to clear their minds of work as soon as they can and enjoy a very well deserved break and celebration. NSA DIARY OF EVENTS TUESDAY 15TH OCTOBER: NSA SOUTH EAST ANIMAL HEALTH MEETING (2 of 4): 7pm at Salisbury Market, covering Schmallenberg vaccination (with MSD Animal Health or Merial Animal Health) and Stamp out Scab presented by Vet Harriet Fuller. Unfortunately nutritional supplements will be off the agenda as, due to an accident, Jonathan Guy is unable to be present. Refreshments available so please let Bob Blanden if you wish to attend - 01666 860308 or blandenbtinternet . WEDNESDAY 16TH OCTOBER: NSA SOUTH EAST ANIMAL HEALTH MEETING (3 of 4): 7pm at Thame Market, covering Schmallenberg vaccination (with MSD Animal Health or Merial Animal Health) and Stamp out Scab presented by Vet Ann Gibbs. Unfortunately nutritional supplements will be off the agenda as, due to an accident, Jonathan Guy is unable to be present. Refreshments available so please let Bob Blanden if you wish to attend - 01666 860308 or blandenbtinternet . FRIDAY 1ST - SUNDAY 3RD NOVEMBER: SHEEP BREEDERS ROUND TABLE: At Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, organised by Eblex, Signet Breeding Services, NSA, HCC and Biosciences KTN, will John McEwan of AgResearch New Zealand as keynote speaker and a theme for the three days of lsquotransforming data into profitrsquo. Details at nationalsheep.org.ukSBRT . WEDNESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER: NSA SOUTH EAST AGM AND OPEN ANIMAL HEALTH MEETING: 7pm at Plumpton College. The AGM will be followed by two animal health presentations - one on nutritional supplements (with Jonathan Guy) and the other on Schmallenberg vaccination. Refreshments available so please let Bob Blanden if you wish to attend - 01666 860308 or blandenbtinternet . TUESDAY 26TH NOVEMBER: NSA CENTRAL REGION AGM: At the Bluebell at Tissington, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1NH. FRIDAY 29TH and SATURDAY 30TH NOVEMBER: NSA SHEEP CONTRACTORS EVENT: A new event for sheep contractors near Cirencester. Please register your interest ASAP by calling NSA Head Office on 01684 892661 or enquiriesnationalsheep.org.uk . MONDAY 9TH DECEMBER: NSA MARCHES REGION COMMITTEE MEETING: 7.30pm at the Stables, Lower House Farm, Cannon Frome, Ledbury, HR8 2TG. All NSA Marches Region members are welcome, not just committee members. NSA EASTERN REGION WINTER FAIR: Friday 31st January at Melton Mowbray Market. Details and sponsorship packages from Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or jonathanceressolutions.co.uk . NSA SCOT SHEEP: Wednesday 4th June 2014, at the Berwickshire farm of Quixwood, Grantshouse, courtesy of the Macfarlane family. Details and sponsorship packages from Euan Emslie on 01430 441870 or euanappliedremedies.co.uk . NSA SOUTH SHEEP: Saturday 28th June at Blackcap Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, by kind permission of Tony Monnington and family. Details and sponsorship packages from Bob Blanden on 01666 860308 or blandenbtinternet . NSA SHEEP EVENT: Wednesday 30th July 2014 at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. Details and sponsorship packages from Helen Davies on 01938 590535, 07976 803066 or helennationalsheep.org.ukGETTING READY FOR TUPPING: WHAT TO THINK ABOUT. A quick guide with tipps on getting ewes and rams ready for TUPPING (Click Here) BREEDS AT RISK REGISTER FOR NORTHERN IRELAND - The Northern Ireland Assemblys Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has established a Breeds at Risk Register (BARR), based on a list of breeds determined by expert advice from the UK FAnGR committee.As at June 11, 917 individual cattle and 146 herds and flocks of pigs, poultry and sheep have been registered. The BARR may provide some protection for registered breeds at risk in the event of a disease outbreak, for example, exemption from culling, provided rigorous biosecurity measures are in place and that disease control measures are not compromised. The decision to exempt certain animals from culling will be based on the outcome of a veterinary risk assessment which will consider the situation on individual premises as well as other factors such as wider disease control measures and the impact on trade.Livestock and poultry keepers in Northern Ireland have the opportunity to register their rare breeds, free of charge. More information and the application form are available on dardni.gov.ukbreeds-at-risk EXCELLENT INDUSTRY FORUM PROVIDED BY NSA NORTH SHEEP 2013: Be it at the opening ceremony, in the seminar tent, or conversations amongst the thousands of visitors who flooded through the gates, there was a great sense of optimism at NSA North Sheep, coupled with a lot of respect for the role of the family farm in the sheep sector. This was exemplified by the hosts, with all three generations of the Wilson family (J.M. Wilson and Sons picture 1) showing their support for the event throughout the day. Our thanks goes to them, as well as the organising committee, willing volunteers, trade stands, demonstrators and visitors what an amazing day. Results of the competitions included:- Ripon Farm Supplies as best outdoor trade stand (picture 2) Logie Durno Sheep, from Aberdeenshire, as best indoor trade stand (3) and the Lleyn Sheep Society as best breed society stand (4). The Young Shepherd of the Year title went to Josh Ryder (5) of Central House Farm, Haverah Park, Harrogate. Josh works at CCM auction and on the 300-acre family home farm where they run 1,200 Dalesbred and Swaledale ewes and a small herd of sucklers. Winning stockjudgers were Cecil Hutchinson in the Gents section, Margaret Iveson (6) in the ladies section, Eddie Heard in the under 26s and Henry Forsett in the under 19s. Andrew Atkinson (7), a lamb buyer of Felliscliffe Harrogate, proved he knows as much about preparing lamb as purchasing it when he won the Ready, Steady, Cook competition. Coming top in the first ever NSA North Sheep Shearing Competition was 30-year-old Adam Berry (8) of Kendal. The seminar tent also proved to be a draw throughout the day. Phil Stocker and John Geldard, NSA Chief Executive and Chairman respectively, had an opportunity to update visitors on the topics NSA is currently working on, including CAP reform and countering arguments that eating less meat will save the planet (see more below). They also answered questions on the new electronic movement database for England and what was being done to engage with New Zealand and prevent them repeating their 2012 marketing strategy. Another popular seminar was Dr Fiona Lovatt tackling liver fluke, Schmallenberg and scab. As a practising vet who recently set up her own sheep consultancy business, Fiona said shes seen the impact of fluke on many farms in recent months. Using basic farm costing information for an average lowland flock, she calculated that fluke (by reducing scanning percentages, killing a small number of ewes and forcing a few more to be culled) could easily cut a flocks lamb rearing potential from 160 to 120, slashing margins from just over 33ewe to only 21pewe. She urged farmers to test for triclabendazole (TBZ) resistance (rather than assuming a treatment failure automatically meant the farm had resistance) and to also quarantine incoming stock. There were several quarantine options to stop fluke getting onto fluke-free farms and TBZ-resistant fluke getting on TBZ-susceptible farms, and so Fiona urged farmers to talk about quarantine options with their vet. NEXT UP IS THE NSA YOUTHFUL SHEPHERD EVENT: Specifically aimed at young people working in the sector or looking to pursue a career in the sector, the first ever NSA Youthful Shepherd Event is tomorrow (Saturday 8th June). This will be a unique opportunity for new and potential new entrants to have access to industry leaders and influencers, gain information and advice, and have a say about what the industry can do to better support young people. The event starts at 2.30pm at Darley Stud Management Co Ltd, Rutland Yard, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 9RF. It is organised by NSA Eastern Region but open to young people from around the UK. The event will include:- Advice and open discussion forums on store lamb production, pedigree sheep breeding, financing a start-up business, live and deadweight marketing, and breed types. Demonstrations on Signet recording and ultrasound scanning, show and sale presentation, tagging and electronic readers, and sheepdogs. NSA Eastern Region Young Shepherd of the Year Competition . which is a qualifier for the national and European finals. Pre-entry required. Fun competitions including electric fencing, sheep counting and eat-a-pie-shear-a-sheep-drink-a-pint The event will conclude at 6pm with a BBQ, to which all NSA Eastern Region members are invited for a social evening. This replaces the NSA Eastern Region farm walk. AND THEN NSA SHEEP SOUTH WEST: The penultimate NSA summer sheep event - NSA Sheep South West - is being held this Tuesday (11th June) from 10am at Moortown Barton, Knowstone, South Molton, Devon, EX36 4RZ, by kind permission of Michael and David Snell (pictured here with their families). Tuesday will be an action-packed day with plenty going on, including farm tours, carcase and fleece competitions, stockjudging challenges, a sheepdog sale and Young Shepherd (and Student Shepherd) of the Future competitions. For the first time a seminar programme has also been introduced. Find out more at sheepsouthwest.org.uk . NSA INVOLVED IN MEDIA ACTIVITY AROUND MEAT AS A LUXURY PRODUCT: This Tuesday (4th June) say the House of Commons Select Committee on international development release a report on global food security, which hit the mainstream press in the papers, radio and TV. This subject relates to the highest level of policy work the NSA is involved in, as it is likely to underpin many policies for future food production and land use. The reports headline essentially said that the growing global population should eat less meat, but when you dug a little deeper it was saying clearly that increasing grain-fed meat was likely to be unsustainable whereas grass-fed meat would be an essential part of sustainable meat production and consumption. The media debate quickly (and unhelpfully) evolved into a meat versus non-meat argument, although this allowed Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, to be quoted on the front page of the Tuesdays Daily Mail and be involved in a live debate on Radio 5 Live, making the case that sheep production was one of the most natural and sustainable ways of converting our largely grass-based land area into nutritious and tasty food for the population - not only does it make use of grass but in doing so creates the sort of countryside that the public love. Phil says: quot When you consider this debate and also the re-wilding proposals discussed in last weeks NSA Weekly Email Update, it is crucial NSA continues to get reasonable and practical facts across to a public, many of whom are enthusiastic about what we are doing but always need reassurance.quot NSA ENGLISH COMMITTEE GETS UPDATE ON CAP REFORM: In addition to NSAs regular work on CAP reform, the English Committee also invited Gail Soutar, NFU Senior CAP and International Affairs Adviser, to provide an update at their meeting last week (Wednesday 29th May). One of the most pressing issues to come out of the discussion with Gail was a reminder that anyone interested in Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) only had until 1st September 2013 to apply, with the final ELS agreements to be offered on 1st December 2013. HLS closes at the end of July but Gail suggested Natural England already had to be aware of your interest and so no new applications could now be submitted. ELS and HLS schemes will then permanently close and be replaced with a new scheme from 1st January 2016, which is expected to be a middle tier between ELS and HLS. There is no firm information available on what will happen to existing environmental stewardship agreements that end in 2014 and 2015, but it is though unlikely that very few newextended agreements will be offered. Meanwhile IN WALES . the Glastir deadlines are:- 31st July to be included in the next selection process for Glastir Efficiency Grants or Glastir Advanced. 30th August for Glastir Commons applications (application forms will be issued next month, only to Grazing Associations who have already submitted an expression of interest form). 30th September for Glastir agreements starting on 1st January 2014. Also, from now until 4th July Glastir drop-in surgeries are being ran at Farming Connect divisional offices, with on-farm events also available until 5th July. Details at menterabusnes.co.ukfarmingconnect .NEW DUNBIA LLANYBYDDER PREMISES OPEN: NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker was one of many guests present today (Friday 7th June) to see Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones open Dunbias new premises at Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire. HCC (Meat Promotion Wales) has welcomed the 12m investment and 600 employed positions, saying it shows faith in Welsh farmers and the quality of stock they produce. Gyn Howells, HCC Chief Executive, says: quotDunbia has demonstrated an eagerness to develop their domestic and export business and, working alongside HCC, has secured several business contracts in countries across the globe including Canada, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and Italy. HCC works closely with Dunbia to market PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef on the UK and world stage, generating business for the Welsh economy. quotThe investment at Llanybydder includes 2.71m from the Welsh Governmentquot. IN-FIELD PROMOTION CAMPAIGN FOR RED TRACTOR: July will see Red Tractor Assurance launch a new Trust the Tractor campaign, which will see a great deal of promotional activity, including Trust the Tractor advertising banners appearing in farmers fields alongside around the country. If you are a farm assurance member and have a field in a visible spot near a major transport route that you think should be considered as a site for a 15ft by 4ft banner please email marketingredtractor.org.uk . BELGIAN SUPERMARKET CHOSES UK LAMB OVER SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: The decision by one of Belgiums largest supermarket chains to switch away from chilled New Zealand and Australian to UK product could see an additional 1,100 tonnes of UK lamb exported each year (we exported a total of 95,000 tonnes in 2012). Belgium is an important market for the UK, as Belgian lamb consumption is on the up, with lamb being the only meat species in 2012 to see an increase. EblexHCC believe an increasing number of cuts being offered in Belgium could further bolster this growth. GRASS AND SILAGE FIGURES AVAILABLE IN WALES: You can follow the quality, growth and financial value of new and old leys on three Farming Connect beef and sheep demonstration farms in the Grazing for Profit area of menterabusnes.co.ukfarmingconnect. Also check out the Mileage in Silage area for analysis of grass samples from demonstration farms to determine sugar levels and sulphur requirements of second cut silage. TAKE A FIRM GRIP ON RAGWORT: The common ragwort growing season has begun, with young plants forming low rosettes in fields and pastures. Landowners and occupiers have a statutory responsibility to prevent and control the spread of ragwort under the Weeds Act 1959, and it is also a cross compliance requirement. Control options include spot-spraying with a selective herbicide or hand-pulling - but remember ragwort remains toxic after the plant is dried, so proper disposal following clearance is necessary to protect livestock. NUFFIELD SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE IS 31ST JULY: Anyone considering applying for a 2014 Nuffield Scholarship Award has until 31st July to decide on their topic and complete an application. The Nuffield Scholarship Programme offers an incredible opportunity for people wishing to travel overseas for eight weeks to study a specific farming topic. The sheep sector (via some NSA members) has benefitted many times from discoveries made by previous scholars, and NSA encourages anyone under the age of 45 to consider applying. Applicants must be three year or more post tertiary education and been engaged in farming, rural land-based industries, food industries and agriculturally associated industries for at least two years, and intend to remain in these industries. Around 20 awards are available and applications are via an online process at nuffieldscholar.org . GERMAN STUDENT LOOKING FOR TWO-MONTH WORK PLACEMENT: NSA has been contacted by 19-year-old Amelie Kreuzer, who is looking for a placement on a UK farm during July and August. Amelie is a fluent English speaker and has experience working on German farms, including her parents pig unit. She has a keen interest in sheep and is eager to learn more through a practical placement in this country (with accommodation provided). She has a full driving licence. Amelie is not looking for wages but would be willing to accept a financial reflection of her commitment to the work placement at its conclusion. Email Amelie at amelie.kreuzergmail . NSA EVENT DIARY:- NEW EVENT: NSA YOUTHFUL SHEPHERDS EVENT: Saturday 8th June at Darley Stud Management Co Ltd, Rutland Yard, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 9RF. Organised by NSA Eastern Region but open to young people from around the UK with an interest in the sheep sector, with a BBQ and social event to follow in the evening for sheep farmers of all ages. Click here for more information and an application form. NSA EASTERN REGION EVENT: The Youthful Shepherds Event on Saturday 8th June replaces the NSA Eastern Regions annual farm walk and so all Eastern Regional members are invited to the 8th June event and the BBQ afterwards. If anyone wishes to help, either before or on the day, please contact NSA Eastern Regional Manager Jonathan Barber on 01953 607860 or jonathancharollaissheep . NSA SHEEP SOUTH WEST: Tuesday 11th June at Moortown Barton, Knowstone, South Molton, Devon, EX36 4RZ. More information here . NSA SOUTH EAST FARM WALK: Thursday 13th June, hosted by NSA SE Regional Chairman Andrew Barr, 2pm at Place Farm, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LP. Please let Bob Blanden know you plan to attend - call 07860 689391 or email blandenbtinernet . NSA SHEEP NORTHERN IRELAND: Monday 1st July at Ballymena Market, Woodside Road, Ballymena, County Antrim, BT42 4HX. Email Edward Adamson for more information by clicking here . SHEEP BREEDERS ROUND TABLE: Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd November at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham. Organised by Eblex, Signet Breeding Services, NSA, HCC and Biosciences KTN, will John McEwan of AgResearch New Zealand as keynote speaker and a theme for the three days of transforming data into profit. To register an interest in attending email karen.morriseblex.ahdb.org.uk or call 024 7647 8828. Details of next years ram sales can be found by clicking here . Stamp Out Scab Roadshow: To give the English-wide Stamp Out Scab campaign the best possible chance of success it is vital that everyone involved in the sheep sector is involved in the project, not just farmers. So please spread the word to vets and SQPs that a series of meetings is being held in June and July (click here for a full list). Meetings for farmers will follow this summer. Schmallenberg (SBV) latest From reports being received at NSA HQ it would appear that fewer lambing flocks are now experiencing SBV compared to those lambing before Christmas and early into the New Year. This might be expected on two fronts - as the tupping season progressed midge activity should have reduced, and probably more of the early lambing flocks were synchronized compared to those lambing now. We now have some additional information from a recent European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) meeting:- SBV has a very high level of vector competence compared to other viruses and it is this that is accounting for the fast and wide spread of the virus across the country. EU Members States, including the UK, are still saying that on an industry level SBV will have a low impact (although everyone recognises that for those farmers affected the suggestion that it is low impact can be offensive), but the impact on synchronized flocks can be far higher. There is strong evidence that there is very high protective immunity in individual sheep that were affected in the previous year, and there is fairly high prevalence of antibodies (87-98) across flocks that have been exposed. There is talk of the virus being present and infective in semen but this is not proven. AHVLA are to do some research into this, and scientists are very skeptical that in natural mating or AI this spread of infection would happen. Approval of the application for authorisation of a SBV vaccine is still underway and Ministers, Defra, AHVLA, and VMD have all been made aware of the importance of this vaccine to the livestock industry. To finish with some good news there has been exhaustive research completed that has shown there is no risk to human health of the current Schmallenberg virus. NSA SBV survey goes online You should have all received an email letting you know the industry-led Lambing Survey is now online and will be available until the end of May for farmers to fill in once they have finished lambing. The questions are designed to help get an impression of the lambing season as a whole, but specifically the impact of Schmallenberg (SBV). NSA called for such a survey back in December, when it became clear AHVLA would not be collecting any detailed information about SBV on individual farms. This has resulting in the Lambing Survey, which is a joint initiative between NSA, AHVLA, Eblex, HCC, NBA, NFU and QMS. The survey can be found at surveymonkeysWWHBNC5 and should take about 10 minutes to complete if you have to hand information on the number of ewes and losses between then and lambing. The survey should be completed once you have finished lambing, and should be completed twice or more if you lamb ewes in two or more batches. If you know any NSA members without internet access please tell them they can contact the NSA to complete the survey over the phone instead - weekdays (9am-5.30pm) on 01684 892661, preferably with their NSA membership number to hand. The ewe was working hard to lamb but progress was slow. On first inspection the legs were jointed giving the impression of front legs. BUT there was a tail where the head was expected and in actual fact this lamb was presented backwards. Lambing progressed very slowly and it became apparent that the front legs were fused bent at the knee joint. Very luckily and with great care she was lambed normally. If this lamb had been presented normally our vet said that a caesarian would have been needed. From the hip down to the foot each joint was back to front. The front legs could only be moved and straightened by breaking the knee joint. This particular ewe was 8 days overdue and had been looking uncomfortable but not showing any obvious signs of lambing. On investigation the cervix was not open. The following day she started to push and show signs of lambing but progress was very slow. There was a jumble of lambs legs in the birth canal. It proved too difficult to lamb this ewe as it was obvious the lambs were deformed and the vet was called. She eventually managed to draw out two stillborn lambs which had been entangled. These lambs had been dead for some time (2 - 3 weeks). Although this ewe had been scanned carrying twins the vet then felt another lamb inside. This lamb was huge and very bloated and could not be lambed naturally therefore a caesarian was conducted. Although the lamb was dead it would appear that the placenta was still feeding the lamb which caused the oedema. This was a very difficult caesarian. The appearance of this lamb was that of a bloated rugby football with deformed leg appendages and very large head with undershot jaw. Ewes not developing udder as would be expected and giving birth to very small andor stillborn lambs. These weak lambs require lots of attention to get them going but once they do they seem to be quite robust. Lambs appearing normal at birth which, in spite of attention, have then faded and died within a few hours. Newborn lambs from a normal deleivery being very slow to suckle and requiring time and patience to get them drinking. In some cases it has been more efficient to take colostrum off the ewe and feed it to the lamb. Ewes giving birth to a mix of normal and abnormal, live and dead lambs. SBV Update by Sue Farquhar SBV Update: 4th February 2013 Having recently attended an NFU livestock meeting for sheep farmers in Hereford market, where we had an interesting talk on SBV, by a large veterinary practice. The one overwhelming anecdote is that is that once an area is affected the level of impact is very random i.e. Joe Bloggs may have 50 losses in his lambs and Fred just 14 mile away and lambing at the same time is unaffected. Many other shepherds are reporting that they have had live lambs that have been smaller than usual. these lambs start of ok but then 3-4 days later may go off their feet and fade away and will certainly require TLC if they are to survive. These weakly lambs have been tested positive for SBV. Some farmers have had deformed lambs, that have been tested positive but on testing the mothers they have shown no anti bodies, which the vets are finding this a little puzzling. In the South West the news according to local vets is that the incidence of affected lambs is reducing as lambing proceeds from the high of up to 50 affected in early December. Just remember if in doubt, seek your vets advice. SBV Update: 26th January 2013 This will be a short note to keep breeders and flock owners up to date on the practical side with the Schmallenberg virus (SBV). There are many stories, rumour and half truths circulating and they seem to be gathering momentum. I have unfortunately been affected with SBV in my flock, so I would like to share a few snippets that might be of help to others. You can read the theory on the internet at defra.gov.ukanimal-diseasesa-zschmallenberg-virus. but from my experience the virus can manifest itself in many different ways. The lambs with fused joints as in the photo nearly always come breach, these are boxed shape with the leg joint fused and often the neck is fused back towards the spine. Great care is needed when assisting these ewes to lamb in order to avoid tearing the womb with the fused feet. If in doubt seek veterinary help. Some lambs come with very spindly legs and a rugger ball belly, some are neurologically miswired. they can suck but are unable to stand, others are born weak, some with a curved spine. In addition to the problems with SBV the weather has played its part leading some ewes to produce weak lambs this season probably due to the lack of nutrition after such an appallingly wet summer and autumn that has leached all the goodness from the grass. Even for seasoned Shropshire breeders this lambing is one of the most difficult ever. If you have any queries on SBV please e-mail Sue Farquhar on hansnetttalktalk or phone, you are not alone this lambing season. Article posted Friday 1st February 2013 by the NSA Some positive Schmallenberg reports are emerging - and survey will be available soon. Our sympathy is with those early lambing flocks that have been hit very hard by Schmallenberg (SBV) and we know how nervous many members are about ewes that are yet to lamb. It was therefore nice to receive one very positive report from NSA member Dan Phipps this week. Dan suffered large losses from SBV last year but has just finished lambing 435 ewes on the Cambridgeshire-Suffolk border without seeing a single lamb with SBV-like symptoms. He marked individual ewes that produced affected lambs last year and all of these had healthy, strong lambs. However, he did experience a higher barren rate than in previous years, with 120 ewes carrying raddle marks but scanning empty being moved into the later lambing flock. These will be scanned next week, and regardless if they are in lamb or not (fingers crossed they are) Dan would like to know if their infertility is linked to SBV. Questions such as this, and the huge disparity across the country of some flocks suffering losses and others not, underline yet again how vital it is that we collect information on a large-scale to improve our understanding. The 201213 lambing season survey will be available very soon and we cannot overstate the importance of everyone filling this in. It has come about due to some hard work by NSA, along with AHVLA, EBLEX, NFU and NBA, and will hopefully capture the impact that the virus had hadis having on sheep farms. It has been designed to be completed online once you have finished lambing each batch of ewes - i.e. if you lamb some ewes early and some later complete the survey twice, but if you lamb everything together do it just once. As long as you have basic information to hand (such as scanning rate, number of losses etc) then it will not take long to fill in. We will alert you as soon as the survey is available, and NSA Head Office will happily complete the survey over the phone with any NSA member who does not have the ability to do it online. Disease surveillance in England and Wales to be overhauled. The emergence of Schmallenberg reiterates how important disease surveillance is, and will be a key consideration as NSA completes the consultation paper that has been issued by AHVLA about surveillance on a greatly reduced budget. NSA representatives have also been attending AHVLA-ran workshops in the last fortnight to get a better understanding of what surveillance might look like in the future when the chance of all existing AHVLA centres remaining open is very slim. AHVLA is considering ways for 75 of all farmers to have a drop-off point within a one-hour drive, from which carcases will be taken to centralised post-mortem centres - but it is also open to other suggestions and NSA will gladly communicate with any member who has an interest in this area. Please email joannenationalsheep.org.uk. but bearing in mind the note at the top of this Update explaining the NSA server will be out-of-action this weekend. This lambing season has seen cases of the Schmallenberg Virus affecting Shopshire Sheep flocks. The Society thought that it might be of help to other flock members of theses situations that have presented themselves. Below are records of individuals encounters and in some cases what had to be done to deliver the lambs, and their findings. Please be aware that this virus is affecting sheep and cattle, all breeds and is not just specific to the Shopshire Sheep Breed and the SSBA have published this information for the possible benefit of experience from other breeders. Hopefully this will give people more information on the subject as we all seem to be learning as we go and hopefully to understand that we are not alone should it happen to you. Should you wish to know more information on the Virus then have a look on the net and to talk to your own vet. Remember that should you ever be in difficulty with your sheeps health and well-being then please raise your concerns with your vet as is normal practice. In summary from the findings below. this is all the theory, but remember that this is a new virus and we are all still learning. The virus seems to manifest its self in different ways. fused joints. nearly always breach. some with very spindly legs and a rugger ball belly. some are neurologically miss wired and result in lambs that will suck but not stand. others are born weak or one is ok and the other twin is deformed. Article posted Wednesday 30th January 2013 on RBST Website Livestock breeders are urged to be vigilant With lambing already underway for some early lambing flocks, the impact of the Schmallenberg virus appears to be greater than originally predicted, with some commercial flock owners reporting losses as high as 60 in some cases. According to figures published by Defra, a total of 1211 holdings had been affected by mid January. The virus can have a devastating impact on unborn lambs. The AHVLA website states that . quotmalformations observed to date include bent limbs and fixed joints twisted neck or spine, a domed appearance to the skull, short lower jaw and brain deformities. the foetal deformities vary depending on when infection occurred during pregnancy. In adult cows the acute infection resulted in diarrhoea, fever, a reduction in milk yield, with a full and rapid recovery over several daysquot. In some cases ewes may give birth to one deformed lamb and one normal lamb. Schmallenberg Virus is not a notifiable disease but breeders are advised to contact their veterinary surgeon if they encounter cases of ruminant neonates or foetuses which are stillborn. A Europe-wide risk assessment has concluded that Schmallenberg virus is very unlikely to cause illness in people. Livestock keepers are reminded of the importance of maintaining strict bio-security. Pregnant women should not have contact with sheep and goats at lambingkidding time due to risks of exposure to disease causing organisms. This particular ewe was 8 days overdue and had been looking uncomfortable but not showing any obvious signs of lambing. On investigation (Tues evening) the cervix was not open however yesterday (Wed) she started to push and show signs of lambing but progress was very slow. During a further internal examination the cervix was gently manipulated to help dilate it which caused the waters to break releasing an extraordinary amount of birth fluid. Once the ewe had passed all this fluid a jumble of lambs legs were in the birth canal. It proved too difficult to lamb this ewe as it was obvious the lambs were deformed and the vet was called (yet again). She eventually managed to draw out two stillborn lambs which had been entangled. These lambs had been dead for some time (2 - 3 weeks). Although this ewe had been scanned carrying twins the vet then felt another lamb inside. This lamb was huge and very bloated and there was no way it could be lambed naturally therefore a caesarean had to be conducted. This was a very difficult caesarean as although the lamb was stillborn it would appear that the placenta was still feeding the lamb which caused the oedema. It weighed 6 Kg. The appearance of this lamb was that of a bloated rugby football with deformed leg appendages and very large head with undershot jaw. If this ewe had been left she would have shed her afterbirth and succumbed to toxaemia and died. Please be very aware when delivering Schmallenberg affected ewes that you check there are no more lambs inside. Dont rely on scanning, this ewe had been scanned carrying twins and in fact had triplets. Of our other affected ewes, one was scanned with twins yet delivered triplets.. Sharing our experiences certainly help me keep a calm head in the early hours of this morning. I kept thinking back what you had all found which helped us to lamb a ewe. The ewe lambed herself and produced a nice healthy lamb. She went down to have the second lamb and I noticed a nose but nothing else. The lamb was alive but had both legs back. Found the legs and brought them forward so everything looked ok and normal. Gave a pull and the lamb started to come out then got stuck behind the shoulders. Went to investigate but couldnt find anything wrong, lots of room, back legs not tucked under, everything seemed fine but couldnt understand why we couldnt get it out. My husband tried, but had no joy so we decided to call the vet. Whilst waiting for the vet to arrive the ewe gave a big push and he saw the lamb move slightly so he gave another pull and it came out. Unfortunately the lamb was dead but its belly was so distended and the hind legs very thin. The vet has taken it away to test for schmallenburg. Thank goodness for the stories as I thought back to the previous message with the rugby ball. Dear SSBA Members This is an important update produced by the Charollais Sheep Society concerning the reported incidence of Schmallenberg Virus in flocks that have lambed from 1st December to date. In some flocks up to 50 of lambs born have been infected. Carroll Barber has kindly allowed the use of this information by the SSBA. Her report follows. We are sorry to report that many (Charollais) flocks are reporting cases of deformed lambs being born which are most likely to be as the result of Schmallenberg infection. Breeders have contacted us from the South West, Midlands, Home Counties and South Wales. We are very sorry for those of you who are affected and can only hope that the level of problems drop back as we proceed with lambing. We thought it might be helpful to set out a few facts on the disease. - This virus belongs to a group of viruses that are spread by insect vector, principally midges and mosquitoes. - Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) is not a notifiable disease. - When ewes are bitten by infected midges they show virtually no signs of illness. - The effect of the infection is seen in deformed lambs, born at full term. Classic signs of SBV are extended limbs which are fused, deformed heads and lambs that show few signs of normal behaviour stupid lambs. - Often a ewe can give birth to twins one deformed and the 2nd normal. - Not all ewes in a flock will be give birth to deformed lambs, or all ewes on a farm. Infection is generally quite sporadic. - Ewes and lambs cannot pass the disease on to other sheep. You require the midge as the host for transmission of the virus. - The growing foetus is vulnerable to the infection for only a short period of time, thought to be around 30 - 45 days into pregnancy. - Once ewes have been infected they will have a high level of immunity for subsequent years. - A vaccine is nearly ready for market - but we need to apply pressure to make sure this is available for later lambing flocks and for next year. - Care should be taken while lambing deformed lambs, as with fused limbs it is possible to severely damage ewes. We would suggest that anyone who suspects that they may have the infection on their farm to contact their veterinary surgeon. We know that they cannot do anything to alleviate the problems, but we do need to get the disease fully recorded. This is so the vaccine is pushed to market as soon as possible which might help later lambing flocks in 2013. Veterinary surgeons should then contact their local AHVLA Laboratory (England and Wales) or SAC Disease Surveillance Centre (Scotland) if they suspect infection with the virus and arrange to have the dead lambs tested to confirm. It would also be helpful if you could let the office (SSBA) know if you have had a problem. It will give us a picture of the spread of the disease and put us in a better position to push hard for the arrival of the vaccine. We need to be able to advise farming groups and bodies just how devastating this disease is. We are sorry to bring you bad news, but hopefully many healthy, strong lambs will be born. Remember you are certainly not alone in this horrid situation. Jonathan amp Carroll Barber, Charollais Sheep Society The following is extracted from the Farmers Guardian Schmallenberg virus circulating in Britain again 24 July 2012 By Alistair Driver SCHMALLENBERG Virus (SBV) has survived the winter and is already circulating among livestock again in Britain, with potentially serious consequences for parts of the country later this year. Defra has announced the virus was identified on seven late-lambing farms between mid-April and May - two in the Channel Islands and one each in Dorset, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Kent. According to Defra Deputy Chief veterinary Officer Alick Simmons, the ewes carrying these lambs must have become infected in January or early February. This suggests that the disease probably over-wintered in midges. We probably have more infection transmitting out of the infected areas moving westwards and northwards was we speak, quothe told Farmers Guardian on Tuesday. Mr Simmons announced that Defra is set to embark on a major nationwide SBV surveillance programme and urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of disease.He said the re-emergence of the virus was no surprise, given the speed and efficiency with which it has already been shown to spread in midges in mainland Europe.But he said it was impossible to estimate how far and how fast the infection would spread in Britain this year. Animals that have already been infected, including a high proportion in southern and eastern England last year, will have built up immunity. The virus is therefore expected to travel, via midges, like a moving front westwards and northwards from the infected areas, Mr Simmons said. As the virus causes most of its damage in pregnant animals - leading to stillborn and deformed lambs and calves that characterise SBV - infection during the summer months is relatively harmless. The real danger time is the autumn breeding period. One could argue that the quicker infection moves across the country and infects areas before ewes and cows go to the ram or bull, the better it will be because they will become immune before they get pregnant. It arrived in August or September last year so there was no time for sheep to gain immunity before they get pregnant, but there is time this year, Mr Simmons said. However, the areas where the disease strikes in the autumn breeding season could endure a similar experience to the most infected southern and eastern counties in the early month of this year. He stressed, however, that only small proportion of infected pregnant animals go on to have deformed and stillborn offspring. He added that Defra was unable to give farmers any advice about reducing the risk because of the gaps in the knowledge about its spread and impact. Looking for signs of SBV Defra is urging farmers, particularly along the edge of the risk area, to look out for, and report to their vets, signs of SBV in adult cattle, such as milk drop, fever and diarrhoea. AHVLA will also shortly be launching a web-based survey to assess the prevalence of the virus in the national sheep flock. It will concentrate on counties where there were no confirmed cases in 20112012 or that are on the edge of the infected area, such as Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Herefords, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The survey will use samples taken as part of the sheep and goat survey for Brucella melitensis. The aim is to test sufficient samples to provide 95 per cent confidence that less than 6 per cent of the flocks in these regions were exposed to the virus. Schmallenberg has been found on 275 farms in England, 219 in sheep, 53 in cattle and three in both, although very few new cases have been identified over the summer. It has been found in 27 countiesauthorities, mainly in southern and eastern England but as far north as East Riding and as far west as Cornwall. There have been 5,663 cases in nine member states so far, with France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and UK the worst affected. It has also been found in much smaller numbers in Luxembourg, Italy, Spain and Denmark. NSA Members Update - 22nd June 2012 AHVLA conducts survey to measure impact of Schmallenberg virus on sheep farms The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency is undertaking a survey to measure the impact Schmallenberg (SBV) had on sheep farms during the 201112 lambing season. As this is a new disease, the main aim is to assess possible losses to farmers and to better understand how the disease has affected animal health and welfare in Great Britain. AHVLA is asking all sheep farmers, including those who did not have Schmallenberg in their flocks, to answer a short online questionnaire. There are 30 questions, which should take less than 30 minutes to complete. Links to English and Welsh versions of the questionnaire can be found below: A summary of the survey results will be published on the AHVLA website. but no individual farms will be identifiable from these results. The closing date for answering the online questionnaire is 15 July 2012. Any questions about the survey should be sent to SBVsurveyahvla.gsi.gov.uk . More information about Schmallenberg can be found on the Schmallenberg virus pages of the AHVLA website. The Shropshire Sheep Breeders Association is affiliated to the National Sheep Association NSA engages with AHWBE and Welsh Government on RDP. Two separate meetings this week gave the opportunity for NSA to keep the focus on Pillar Two of the CAP and the Rural Development Progamme (RDP) in both England and Wales. As reported in previous newsletters, NSA believes tightening of Pillar One budgets (Single Farm Payments) in the current CAP negotiations, and a desire by Defra to modulate funds from Pillar One to Pillar Two, means new ways must be created for farmers to access RDP money. One way we could like to see this happen is through the creation of a scheme recognising on-farm contributions to animal health and welfare, rewarding farmers in the same way as agri-environment schemes do. NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker says: We are proposing that a proportion of CAP money is targeted towards encouraging good animal health management, involvement in monitoring and accreditation schemes, and implementation of biosecurity and quarantine measures, and that the money is offered to farmers to enable them to do the right things with ensuing benefits for resource use and carbon footprints. With virtually no CAP money being spent on addressing societys current and future challenges, including resource-efficient food production in a way that helps address climate change, it seems a reasonable ask. On Tuesday (5th March) NSA Chairman John Geldard and Chief Executive Phil Stocker met with the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) and presented NSAs thoughts on CAP reform and RDP measures to incentivise animal health and disease control. The Board, which has an advisory responsibility for animal health issues in England, showed interest in the principles and engaged in an interesting discussion but previous meetings in Wales and Northern Ireland have been more positive and more focused on creative solutions that potential hurdles. On Thursday (7th March) NSA Senior Communications Officer Joanne Pugh attended a workshop at Llandrindod Wells, which the Welsh Government organised as part of its consultation on Pillar Two spending in Wales. The workshop allowed NSA to feed into current thinking in Wales and also opened doors for further discussions in the future. The Welsh Government made it very clear that a priority for RDP is mitigating the pain many Welsh farmers will experience from reduced Single Farm Payment cheques, which is very positive and suggests some funding will be ring-fenced for solely for access by farmers. Red Tractor conference shows unique position of the sheep sector. Red Tractor Assurance (RTA) held a conference for all its Boards, advisory committee members and partner organisations at Stoneleigh on Thursday (7th March). This was an opportunity for all the different sectors of fresh produce, cereals, dairy, pigs, poultry, and of course beef and sheep, to come together reflect on what RTA had achieved, compare how standards in the different sectors differed, and debate future strategies. Sheep farmers are amongst the lowest percentages assured with less than 50 of farmers and approximately 65 of lambs marketed being assured. NSAs view is that priorities and opportunities are very different for each sector and for sheep RTA has to concentrate on being a base-level scheme to allow for increased uptake, rather than a more elite scheme for fewer farmers. The RTA scheme allows farmers to make a voluntary declaration of legal and good agricultural practice (GAP) compliance providing a valuable industry assurance as well as a qualification of British produce. With the horsemeat scandal still high on the agenda it looks as though there will be much future discussion over the use of RTA in multi-ingredient foods. NSA English Committee embraces modern technology It was a first for the NSA on Wednesday (6th March) when Nick Davies, English Committee Member and NSA Marches Region Chairman, joined a NSA meeting via Skype. The rest of the NSA English Committee was in the Farmers Club, London, but could see and chat to Nick on a large screen, despite him being in Northern Ireland. Nick had not wanted to miss the meeting as New Zealand lamb was an agenda item and he had recently been in New Zealand for work reasons and wanted to share his experiences. A report of this trip is also included in the next edition of Sheep Farmer, which will be with members very soon. AHVLA publishes report on Ramsgate. This week saw AHVLA finally release their report on the sheep welfare incident at Ramsgate last September. The purpose of the report is claimed to be to prevent similar incidents happening in the future and therefore focusses on failures and intended improvements in procedures, and contains useful information on the required procedures and responsibilities. AHVLA has identified issues with the journey logging and transporter procedures and is making changes to requirements, and will be reminding official veterinarians of their legal responsibilities in export approvals. Kent Trading Standards is currently investigating the incident with a view to a prosecution and RSPCA are still planning a judicial review against the export trade. However, the timelines provided by AHVLA clearly spell out that the RSPCA objected to AHVLAs plans to transport the sheep to contingency premises for unloading and the NSA believes it was this decision that led to two sheep drowning and over 40 being euthanised. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, says: The NSA is keen to see better enforcement of transport regulations and improvement in procedures so that good welfare can be assured in this legal trade. We are completely opposed to interference with AHVLA staff who are responsible for making decisions in these cases, and it doesnt add up when you consider the efforts that the RSPCA put into rescuing injured animals generally that they were so keen to kill these sheep on site. The report can be read at defra.gov.ukahvla-en20130304ahvla-report-events-of-12-sept-at-the-port-of-ramsgate . Research to continue to help understand black loss. A two-year study by the Highlands amp Islands Sheep Health Association, in conjunction with Quality Meat Scotland, ScotEID, SRUC and SAOS, has confirmed the existence of an average of 18.8 annual black loss (the unexplained disappearance of sheep) on four participating hill farms. The study saw 5,063 lambs electronically tagged as close as practically possible to birth and their identity recorded and uploaded to the ScotEID sheep database. Tags were read periodically over the summer through to the following winter and it was found lambs that had disappeared without trace over the period black loss sheep were mostly lost in the first six weeks from birth. The next step is therefore to identify a practical and cost effective technology to track lambs, and discussions have been held with Chinese researchers who use sensors and global positioning to identify active i.e. tags on animals that are moving. Any unusual movement or lack of movement recorded by sensors would be interpreted as a sign of illness or death, and black loss, and the hope is to develop a commercially-available system that will help sheep farmers intervene before this occurs. The work is expected to take another two years. NSA wishes Two Sisters Food Group well for the future. The acquisition of Vions UK poultry and red meat business by Two Sisters Food Group was announced on Monday (4th March). NSA is very pleased a resolution has been reached, wished Two Sisters every success and looks forward to working with them in the future. ScotHot puts Scotch Lamb on center stage: This week saw ScotHot, a three-day event for the best young chefs in London, take place in Glasgow and four of the eight finalists chose Scotch Lamb as the main ingredient to impress the judges with their cooking skills. During ScotHot, QMS also joined forces with the Federation of Chefs Scotland to do five 40-minute Scotch Lamb butchery demonstrations showing how innovative butchery can increase the culinary repertoire and make the most of the versatility of Scotch Lamb. Here George Milne, NSA Scotland Development Officer, is pictured with some of the competitors. One new entrant and one student looking for help from NSA members. NSA has been contacted by 20-year-old Conor McCrossan, who is looking for farmers in central Scotland who have foster lambs they may sell cheap or donate to help him establish a small flock as a way into sheep farming. He has a shed set up and colostrum and milk replacer at the ready Email Conor at fosterlambfarmhotmail.co.uk. Also Tomas Richards, who is studying Agriculture with Animal Science at Aberystwyth University, is looking for a work placement with a focus on breedint either on a large sheep farm or an industry company. He is looking for a placement from January to September 2014 anywhere in the UK, but will require accommodation if travelling any distance from his home in north Herefordshire. Tomas has some experience working with sheep and can be contacted at tomas.richardshotmail.co.uk or 07800 832768. NSA EVENTS DIARY NSA Welsh Sheep: Tuesday 21st May at Beili Ficer Farm, Llansawel, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, SA19 7JT. More information here . NSA Highland Sheep: Thursday 30th May at Dingwall Mart, Dingwall, Ross-shire, IV15 9TP. More information here . NSA North Sheep: Wednesday 5th June at Crimple Head Farm, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 1QT. More information here . NSA Sheep South West: Tuesday 11th June at Moortown Barton, Knowstone, South Molton, Devon, EX36 4RZ. More information here . NSA Sheep Northern Ireland: Monday 1st July at Ballymena Market, Woodside Road, Ballymena, County Antrim, BT42 4HX. Email Edward Adamson for more information by clicking here . Sheep Breeders Round Table: Friday 1st Sunday 3rd November at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham. More information available later in the year. Details of next years ram sales can be found by clicking here BLUE TONGUEChapter 4 - Contract Resource type: Chapter Status: Law stated as at 01-Apr-2006 Jurisdiction: Scotland This is a chapter from the Bloomsbury Professional book Scots Law ndash A Student Guide, 3rd Edition, which is an up-to-date comprehensive overview of the law in Scotland and is ideal for students on the LLB and other law courses. It takes into account recent legislative and case law developments and provides a general introduction to the principles of Scots law such as the judicial system, as well as a more detailed introduction to the most important areas of Scots law, including agency, contracts and trusts. This chapter is FREE to view, as a sample of the books contents. To view the other chapters, please subscribe to Books online . Nicole Busby, Bryan Clark, Roderick Paisley and Paul Spink A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more persons. Contracts of one kind or another both govern and expedite our daily lives. Your home, your job, the food you eat, the clothes you wear and the services from which you benefit8212all these things are underpinned, one way or another, by the law of contract. Life in a modern industrial society is typically sustained by the coexistence of dozens of separate contracts. Indeed, it is difficult to get through a day without making at least one new one. Banish from your mind the notion that a binding contract requires special formality or even to be made in writing. Most do not. Every time you buy a tin of baked beans or a newspaper from a shop, every time you order a pizza over the telephone, put a coin into a vending machine or pump fuel into your car on a garage forecourt you enter into a contract. The vast majority of the contracts you make are either verbal, or made solely by the implication of your actions and devoid of any particular formality. Go to a supermarket checkout and watch what people do. It is easy to make a contract. THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A CONTRACT Be it for the purchase of a chocolate bar, a bus ticket or an ocean liner, every valid and enforceable contract exhibits certain fundamental characteristics. In the absence of any one or more of the following essentials a contract may be void, voidable, or merely unenforceable. Multiple Parties Section 1(a) of the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991 establishes the general rule that persons under the age of 16 years old do not have the capacity to enter into any transaction having legal effect. A contract so made will be void unless it falls within one of the exceptions provided by section 2 of the Act. 4 In particular, a person under 16 may be deemed to have legal capacity to enter into a transaction: (a) of a kind commonly entered into by persons of his age and circumstances and (b) on terms which are not unreasonable. This provision is constructed so as to expand in permissive scope as a child grows older and begins to enter into higher value and more sophisticated contracts. Whether a particular transaction is of a kind that might be entered into by a minor is a question that can be reduced to the simple application of common sense. For example, whereas the purchase of computer game software (priced at 39.99) by a 15-year-old boy might be sanctioned, the purchase of a personal computer (priced at 999) on which to play the game probably would not. The same childs 10-year-old brother, however, might only be deemed competent to transact to buy the bus tickets to take them into town and the crisps and sweets they ate while shopping. The subject-matter and value of the putative contract, the age, maturity and social profile of the minor, and the wider context of the transaction are all relevant factors. As to the question of reasonableness, the court will err on the side of caution with a view to safeguarding the interests of the minor. The 1991 Act provides that a person achieves full contractual capacity at the age of 16. However, in deference to the fact that young people mature at a different rate, section 3 of the Act permits a person under 21 to apply to the court to set aside a transaction entered into before he attained the age of 18. In so doing, the applicant must establish that it was a prejudicial transaction, which is defined as a transaction that: (a) an adult, exercising reasonable prudence, would not have entered into in the circumstances of the applicant at the time of entering the transaction and (b) has caused or is likely to cause substantial prejudice to the applicant. Certain transactions cannot be set aside. In particular, these include transactions in the course of the applicants own trade, business or profession. 5 If a party dealing with a person aged 16 or 17 is concerned that a transaction may later be challenged, a joint summary application may be made to the sheriff court to have it ratified under section 4 of the Act. All parties to the contract must concur in the application. Transactions so ratified cannot subsequently be called into question. This curious phrase refers to persons of any nationality (including home nationals), who in time of war reside or do business in an enemy country. Enemy aliens have no contractual capacity indeed it is a crime to attempt to contract with such a party. Contracts in existence on the outbreak of war become void. On the restoration of peace it is possible to recover monies paid under a contract, 11 but the contract itself will not revive. Corporate bodies Generally speaking, the contractual capacity of a corporate body is determined by the terms of its constitution. The ultra vires doctrine 12 dictates that a corporate body may not contract on a matter that lies outwith the range of powers that have been conferred on it. A corporate body established by royal charter may enter into any bona fide contract except those expressly excluded by the charter itself. The boundaries of the contractual competence of statutory corporations, including public corporations and local authorities, are typically marked out in the founding statute. Any attempt to contract outwith these parameters will be ultra vires and void ab initio. The most commonly occurring form of corporate body is the registered company which includes, in particular, the typical commercial trading company. The objects clause of a companys memorandum of association sets out its contractual capacity. The Companies Act 1989 abolished the ultra vires rule as previously applied to contracts entered into by registered companies to the detriment of innocent third parties, although the internal effects of the rule may still operate to impose personal liability on the party that entered into the transaction on behalf of the company. 13 Unincorporated bodies Associations, clubs, societies, most trusts and other such incorporated bodies do not have a distinct legal personality of their own. As a consequence, unincorporated bodies have no contractual capacity. Office bearers must carry out the business of the body in their own name. In Scots law a partnership has a legal personality distinct from that of its partners, 14 but unlike the corporate personality, it is not a fully competent persona and has restricted contractual capacity. A partnership can contract with partners and third parties and can sue and be sued in its own name. Moreover, a partnership can hold property (except heritable property held on feudal tenure) in its own name. A partnership may contract through its agents, or partners. 15 Generally speaking, the acts of partners in carrying out the ordinary business of the firm will bind the partnership. Intention to Create Legal Relations It is necessary to establish that both parties entered into an agreement with the intention of creating legal relations. Entailed in every legal offer is an expression of willingness to be bound on specific terms should those terms be accepted without qualification by the offeree. If the issue of intention is disputed the court will apply an objective test. In these circumstances it matters not what the parties had in their minds, but what inference a reasonable man would draw from their words and conduct. In deciding whether the parties had the intention to enter into a legal relationship, the court will consider, inter alia. the nature and context of the founding negotiations. In the case of casual social intercourse, domestic promises and most undertakings proffered in other non-commercial situations, there will usually be a presumption that the parties lacked the requisite intent. 16 This presumption can of course be rebutted, in particular where a significant financial interest is involved. 17 On the other hand, where negotiations take place in a commercial context there will usually be a strong presumption in favour of an intention to establish a binding contract. 18 If the parties do not wish to bind themselves to an agreement made in a business setting they must clearly express their contrary intention. In Rose and Frank Co v Crompton Ltd 19 it was held that an Honourable Pledge Clause expressly denying legal jurisdiction fulfilled this purpose. Certainty of Terms Unless an agreement is constituted in reasonably specific and definite terms no court will be able to entertain its enforcement. Where an obligation is not adequately defined or specified in a purported bargain there can be no agreement on that particular point (and thus no consensus8212see below) between the parties. Consequently, the agreement, or that part of it affected by ambiguity if excision is possible, will be treated as void. It is for the court to satisfy itself as to the certainty of terms and again an objective test is applied. In McArthur v Lawson 20 Lord President Inglis stated that the terms of an agreement must be at least precise enough to allow a decree of specific implement to be framed. In Gunthing v Lynn 21 the offeror undertook to pay an additional sum for a horse at a later date if it proved lucky in the meantime. When the other party sought to enforce this promise he was unsuccessful. The term lucky is far too vague to be susceptible to judicial enforcement. Did it mean the horse had to win a race, or two races, or all its races, or just to place well That said, in certain circumstances and in the context of a commercial agreement in particular, 22 a court may be reluctant to conclude that a purported agreement is void on grounds of uncertainty. If satisfied that the parties intended to create a binding agreement, the court will do its best to give precise meaning to looseness of expression. It may be possible to persuade the court to enforce a contract where an apparently ambiguous term can be made certain by obvious implication, by reference to a previous course of dealings between the parties, or by virtue of common usage within the relevant trade. If the plaintiff in Gunthing had been able to show that the term lucky was a recognised term of the horse-dealing trade with a specific and widely acknowledged connotation, he may well have recovered damages8212assuming of course that the performance of the horse actually satisfied this particular criterion. However, this stands as a relatively narrow exception to the general rule that, where an agreement is vague in relation to at least one essential (ie material and non-severable) element of the contract, no contract will be constituted. 23 In TWL Inc Ltd v Technology Leasing Ltd 24 a contract for the provision of consultancy services was specific as to the fee payable, but unclear as to the nature and extent of the service to be performed. The purported contract stated that services would be provided as required by the client at such times and at such locations as the client and the consultant shall agree from time to time. Although the court was quite prepared to accept that the parties had intended themselves to be bound, it was impossible to determine exactly what the consultants were bound to do. It was held that an agreement to agree on the essential terms of a contract could not derive an enforceable bargain. This finding is consonant with Lord Jaunceys observation in Neilson v Stewart. 25 It is trite law that an agreement which leaves a part, essential to its implementation, to be determined by later negotiation does not constitute a concluded and enforceable contract. An effective acceptance must precisely match the offer made. The parties must reach consensus in idem8212that is to say, there must be a meeting of minds, or agreement on the same essential terms. Consider the following example: It is important to distinguish between an offer and other representations or statements that may at first sight resemble offers, but which are not susceptible to acceptance so as to derive a binding contract. Foremost among these contractual blind alleys is the invitation to treat. An invitation to treat is an indication of a willingness to negotiate: in simple terms it is a signal that the party is open to offers. Accordingly, whereas an offer can be accepted to create a contract, an invitation to treat cannot be accepted, although it may solicit an offer which might subsequently prove the basis of a contract. Examples of invitations to treat include goods displayed in a shop window, on a shop shelf or in a catalogue, good exposed for sale at an auction viewing or otherwise advertised for sale. When a well-known electrical goods retailer mistakenly advertised colour televisions for sale on its website at the very attractive price of 3.99 several hundred orders were received before the error was corrected. The retailer refused to meet a single order (the intended price was 399.99) and, in terms of the law of contract at least, it was on very safe ground. The advert constituted no more than an invitation to treat and the orders received were in fact offers to buy, which the retailer was fully entitled to refuse. Fisher v Bell 46 provides a more traditional illustration of this concept. In the case a shopkeeper displayed a price-tagged flick knife in his window. He was charged with offering the knife for sale contrary to section 1(1) of the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959. However, it was held that the shopkeeper had not offered to sell the weapon, but merely indicated a willingness to negotiate. Accordingly, no offence had been committed. This straightforward principle of contract law was similarly overlooked in Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd. 47 Here, Boots were charged with an offence under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act 1933. which stipulated that sales of poisons must take place under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. The problem, in the eyes of the prosecuting authority, was that Boots operated a self-service system with a pharmacist present only at the cash desk. If the act of selection of goods by the customer had been deemed acceptance of an offer to sell Boots may have been liable to conviction, but again it was held that no offence had been committed. The display of goods on the shelf was merely an invitation to treat to customers to make an offer to buy at the cash desk, at which point the pharmacist would accept the offer, derive a contract and hence supervise the sale. Offer or Price Quotation Generally speaking an advance indication of the price of goods or services will be deemed to be a non-binding estimate, quotation or simply an expression of willingness to negotiate. In Harvey v Facey 48 H sent a telegram asking will you sell us Bumper Hall Pen Telegraph lowest cash price. In response F telegraphed, Lowest price for Bumper Hall Pen 900. H then telegraphed to F, We agree to buy Bumper Hall Pen for 900 asked by you. H received no reply. The court held that no valid contract had been created. Fs telegram constituted no more than the answer to a question. It was merely a statement of the lowest price at which he was prepared to sell. It did not amount to an offer and therefore there was nothing for H to accept. Hs purported acceptance was in fact an offer to buy susceptible to acceptance by F. Philip amp Co v Knoblauch 49 provides a useful contrast. Here, K wrote to P: I am offering today plate linseed for JanuaryFebruary and have pleasure in quoting you 100 tons at 41s 3d usual plate terms. I shall be glad to hear if you are buyers and await your esteemed reply. The following day P telegraphed: Accept hundred JanuaryFebruary plate 41s 3d. K responded with a further telegram rejecting Ps attempt to contract. It was held that Ks first telegram was an offer and that a contract had been formed by Ps acceptance. Moreover, the fact that the acceptance tendered included no reference to the condition usual plate terms mentioned in the offer did not impair its effect. An acceptance need not expressly reiterate all the terms of an offer. 50 Revocation of Offer (c) a time limit fixed by the offeror for acceptance expires (d) the subject-matter of the contract is destroyed or materially altered (e) the proposed contract is made illegal or otherwise becomes impossible to perform (f) either party dies or the offeror 53 becomes insane or (g) it is not accepted within a reasonable time. To expand on the last criterion, what is a reasonable time will vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the nature of the proposed transaction and, if applicable, the practice or custom of the relevant trade. Offers concerning perishable goods or commodities that command a fluctuating market price will clearly have a much shorter shelf-life than those relating to a less volatile subject-matter or service. In Glasgow Steam Shipping v Watson 54 it was deemed that an offer made on 5 August to supply coal at 7s per ton was no longer open to acceptance on 13 October, by which time the price of coal had risen to 9s per ton. Similarly, in Wylie and Lochhead v McElroy and Sons 55 there was a delay of five weeks before an attempt was made to accept an offer to undertake ironwork. Over the intervening period the price of iron had risen sharply. It was held that the offer had not been timeously accepted. Acceptance The offeror is fully entitled to state the method by which acceptance should be communicated. In the absence of any such stipulation, the mode of acceptance will generally be dictated by the nature and context of the offer. Acceptance may be made in writing or it may be oral, and more often than might be imagined acceptance may be inferred merely from the conduct of the offeree. Taking money in response to an offer to buy, dispatching goods, issuing a ticket or putting a coin into a slot machine are all examples of acceptance by performance. 56 As stated above, an acceptance will only derive a binding contract if it corresponds precisely to the essential terms of the offer: there must be consensus in idem. In other words, acceptance must be absolute and unconditional. A qualified acceptance is no acceptance. Any response to an offer, whether couched in terms of an acceptance or not, which seeks in any material way to alter or add to the terms of the original offer, is no more than a counter-offer. A counter-offer cancels the original offer and no subsequent acceptance of the original terms is valid. In Wolf amp Wolf v Forfar Potato Co Ltd 57 the status of the following exchange was at issue: F sends telex to W8212I can offer 1,000 tonnes Desiree. for late January. This offer is valid until 17.00hrs 301177. W sends telex to F8212We accept the offer but shipment should be in the week of 9 January 1978 (plus additional conditions). W sends second telex to F8212We confirm that we have accepted your offer. We would also highly appreciate if you could take into consideration the points we have raised. The key word in this scenario is but. Ws first telex, although described as an acceptance, was in fact merely a counter-offer because it sought to vary the terms of the original offer. Ws second telex suffers less equivocation, but it came too late. Given that the first acceptance was a counter-offer, its effect was to cancel the original offer. Accordingly, the second attempt at acceptance failed because there was nothing left to accept. At the end of the featured exchange the ball was firmly back in Fs court. It fell to F either to accept Ws counter-offer, or to vary its terms with a new offer. However, F refrained from so doing and the court held that no contract had been formed. Communication of Acceptance The general rule is that acceptance is not effective until it is communicated to the offeror. As a consequence, silence will not usually amount to acceptance. There may be an express or implied (by strong course of dealings etc) agreement between the parties that an offer is to be regarded as accepted unless it is expressly rejected within a specified time. Failure to refuse an offer may then constitute acceptance. However, this is highly unusual. 58 It would be necessary to adduce cogent evidence to convince the court that it is appropriate to sanction a transaction carried out on this basis. In Felthouse v Bindley 59 the plaintiff offered to buy a horse and stated: if I hear no more about it I consider the horse mine. The horse was later sold to another but it was held that the plaintiff had no valid claim. Acceptance could not be imposed on the offeree on the basis of his silence. As is so often the case, the exceptions to the rule that acceptance must be communicated generate the bulk of the law relative to the issue. In the following situations express, communicated acceptance is not necessary for completion of the contract. Postal rule Where the parties negotiate by post the general rule is that a letter of acceptance becomes effective, completing the contract, as soon as it is dispatched. In Dunlop v Higgins 60 a letter of acceptance was delayed in the post and failed to reach the offeror by the appointed time, but because it had been posted on the day stipulated for acceptance it was held that a contract had been concluded. There is English authority to suggest that unless a letter is properly stamped and addressed the postal rule will not apply and there is no effective communication of acceptance until the letter arrives. 61 However, when the issue was addressed in Scotland the court was less pedantic. In Jacobsen, Sons amp Co v Underwood amp Son Ltd 62 a letter of acceptance in reply to an offer expiring on 6 March and posted on that day was insufficiently addressed 63 and delayed in the post until 7 March as a consequence. It was held that the postal rule applied and that the offer had been accepted on time. Conversely, a letter of revocation is not effective until it reaches the offeree. If a letter of acceptance and a letter of revocation cross in the post, the contract will be deemed completed at the point of posting of the acceptance. In England, the position is that, even if a letter never arrives, the contract is deemed concluded on posting. 64 For obvious reasons this rule is susceptible to abuse and its application may foster consequent ambiguity. It has not found favour in Scotland. 65 The postal rule is somewhat arbitrary and clearly has the potential to disadvantage the offeror. However, it is easy enough to exclude its operation. The rule can be avoided if the offeror stipulates that notice of acceptance must actually reach him by a certain date. 66 Table 4.1 The postal rule: a summary Proper and timeous posting Sometimes the performance of an act may amount to effective acceptance without communication to the offeror. Consider a typical supermarket: a carton of orange juice displayed on a shelf in the shop constitutes an invitation to treat. When the carton is selected, taken to the checkout desk and put on the conveyor, an offer to purchase is made. Indeed the customer makes individual offers to purchase each of the goods selected. When the assistant, in one motion, scans the carton and slides it to the far end of the checkout for bagging, the offer to purchase is accepted. We have all witnessed this kind of transaction. How many times have you heard the assistant say, I hereby accept your offer to purchase this carton of orange juice (details) at a price of 1.99 on behalf of Y Supermarket Ltd. The chances are you have not. Imagine how long it would take to deal with an average trolley full of shopping. Acceptance is inferred by conduct. The same analysis applies to many ordinary transactions8212a pint of beer purchased in a pub, a ticket for the cinema, swimming pool or museum, an ice cream from a van, a newspaper from a shop8212the list is a long one and acceptance is almost always by performance, inferred by the act of processing the transaction. An order for the supply of goods (for example, from a catalogue) does not require express communication of acceptance. Typically the offeror sends an order to the catalogue company and a few days later the goods arrive at the offerors door. There is no automatic confirmation of acceptance in the intervening period. In this context, the act of processing the order and supplying the goods is acceptance by conduct. 71 Goods sent on approval can be accepted by any act that is inconsistent with the ownership of the offeror: for example, using the goods, reselling the goods or doing any other act which infers acceptance. If a party is sent an expensive designer dress on approval from a fashion house it is anticipated that the recipient will try the dress on in order to decide whether to purchase it that is what on approval means. However, if the recipient wears the dress out to a ball she will be deemed to have accepted it without the need for communication to the offeror. 72 At auction the auctioneer signals acceptance of the highest offer by banging his gavel. 73 No verbal communication is necessary in fact such would be unusual. Furthermore, it is not necessary that the bidder either sees or hears the gavel brought down. Acceptance by performance also takes place when a party operates a vending or ticket machine. In this case the offer is typically borne on the machine or by it. The offeree can shout at the machine all he likes, but acceptance is by conduct, by the act of putting money into the slot. 74 Lastly, it is may not be necessary to communicate acceptance of a general offer or advertisement. For example, in the context of a lost property reward poster the finding and returning of the property is sufficient. It is not necessary to advise the offeror that you have decided to look for the property. Petrie v Earl of Airlie. 75 as discussed above, is good authority on this point. Likewise, as seen in Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. 76 an offer to the world at large drawn in definite terms can be accepted by the performance of its conditions by any member of the public inclined to do so. Again, communication of acceptance is not required in order to derive a contract. The Creation of the Contract We have already established that most contracts require little or no formality. Most contracts may be made verbally or implied by virtue of the actions of the parties. If a contract comprises of the essential elements set out above it will generally be enforceable in the absence of any special formality. Moreover, there are no special requirements relating to the proof of most types of contract. Generally speaking any form of evidence, including the testimony of the parties or other witnesses to the transaction (which is known as parole) may be adduced to establish the existence of a contract and the extent of its terms. 79 However, the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 provides that certain contracts do require to be made in writing in order to be valid and enforceable. This Act abolished the old common law regime on formality of contract and has greatly simplified the law in this area. By section 1(2) of the 1995 Act a written document is required for: (a) the constitution of: (i) a contract or unilateral obligation for the creation, transfer, variation or extinction of an interest in land 80 (ii) a gratuitous unilateral obligation (but not a gratuitous contract) except an obligation undertaken in the course of business and (iii) a trust by which a person declares himself to be sole trustee of his own property or any property which he may acquire (b) the creation, transfer, variation or extinction of an interest in land otherwise than by the operation of a court decree, statute or rule of law and (c) the making of a will, testamentary trust disposition and settlement or codicil. Section 2 of the 1995 Act provides that the only formality required for the constitution of these contracts is subscription by the granter (or by the signature of each granter if there is more than one). If a document is to be considered probative (that is self-proving8212regarded as authentic without the need for the presentation of additional evidence), one of two conditions set down in the Act must be satisfied. The document must either be: (a) attested (witnessed) ( section 3 )8212the contract must be signed, or the signature acknowledged, by the granter before one mentally capable witness aged over 16 who knows the granter (a testing clause which states the name and address of the witness is included) or (b) endorsed with a court certificate ( section 4 )8212obtained by application to the sheriff court supported by an affidavit stating that the document was subscribed by the granter. An ex facie 81 valid contract may nonetheless harbour some defect that impairs its enforceability at law. Many factors may conspire to produce this result, including lack of capacity, illegality, error and misrepresentation. Depending on the nature of the defect, the contract may be rendered either void, voidable or merely unenforceable. Viod Contracts In this context the term voidable means that at least one party can either take the contract or leave it. A voidable contract is an agreement that creates an ex facie valid and enforceable contract, but which also contains some inherent flaw that is not immediately fatal, but nonetheless renders the contract vulnerable to challenge by one of the parties to it. Such a contract generally remains valid unless and until the party entitled to avoid it takes steps to annul it or set it aside. The right to challenge a voidable contract must be exercised timeously. If the party entitled to repudiate the contract acquiesces in the face of knowledge of its voidable status he may be taken to have affirmed the contract and accepted the obligations arising from it. Furthermore, it is a condition of reduction that restitutio in integrum (entire restoration) is both possible and carried out. If the parties are unable, for some reason, to restore each other to their original, pre-contractual positions then the right to cancel the contract may be lost. Transactions that may be deemed voidable include: contracts concluded by undue influence contracts by a person acting in breach of a fiduciary duty (for example, a contract entered into on behalf of a company by a director with a conflict of interests) some contracts by insolvents some contracts by intoxicated persons where the level of intoxication suffered does not fully remove the power of rational consent certain contracts entered into by error or misrepresentation. Unenforceable Contracts If either or both parties enter into a contract in error the validity of the contract may be affected. This is a complex area of law. As a first step it is important to distinguish between the two fundamental types of error: errors of law and errors of fact. Errors as to law occur where a party misunderstands the legal effect of the contract or his legal rights pertaining thereto. In accord with the familiar principle of law ignorantia juris neminem excusat (ignorance of the law excuses no one), the general rule is that error as to law will not impair the validity of the contract. That said, in Morgan Guaranty Trust Co of New York v Lothian Regional Council 83 it was held that a payment made under error of law is recoverable. However, it should be noted that a claim for repetition (or repayment) derives from the law of equity under the condictio indebiti (which supports an action for the repayment of money paid in the mistaken belief that it was owed) and not from the law of contract. Error in Fact Errors as to fact arise where one or both parties are mistaken about some material characteristic of the contract. In his Principles of the Law of Scotland. 84 Bell identifies the five major heads of error in fact, namely error as to: (1) the subject-matter of the contract (2) the identity of the other party (where this is essential) (4) the quantity, quality or extent of the subject and (5) the nature of the contract itself. Errors in fact may affect the validity of a contract in a variety of ways depending on the circumstances of the error in question. Different forms of error and the legal consequences thereof are discussed below. As discussed above, this is error that goes to the essence of the contract. Such an error denies the possibility of valid consent, or consensus, and typically renders the contract void. Bells Principles identifies five types of essential error. 102 (i) Error as to the subject-matter of the contract This occurs where the parties do not have the same item, goods or service in mind at the point of contract. In Scriven v Hindley 103 bales containing tow were sold at auction. The successful bidder was under the impression the barrel contained hemp, which is considerably more valuable, and as a consequence he was not held bound by the contract. Raffles v Wichelhaus 104 offers a famous illustration of the rule. In this case two ships were due to set sail with a cargo of cotton from the port of Bombay to England. One ship was to sail in October, the other in December. Both ships were named Peerless. A contract was formed for the purchase of cotton to arrive ex Peerless , but while one party anticipated delivery on the October ship, the other party had the December ship in mind. It was held that there was no consensus and that no contract had been formed. 105 (ii) Error as to the identity of the parties Usually the identity of the parties is irrelevant to the contract. However, on occasion it will constitute a material factor. This may be the case where the contract is for a personal service, or where one party has reason to fix his mind on a contract with another specific individual. The leading Scottish authority is Morrisson v Robertson. 106 M had a history of dealings with W. T, a confidence trickster, approached M and falsely represented that he was Ws son. M was deceived into giving cattle to T on credit on the strength of this misrepresentation. T then sold them to another party and disappeared. It was held that the original contract was void and that M was entitled to recover the cattle. Identity had been of the essence of the contract. M would not have extended credit to T had he known of Ts true status. Morrisson remains good law, but it does not describe the general policy of the court on this issue. Identity is seldom fundamental to a contract, even where blatant deception is involved. MacLeod v Kerr 107 provides a useful contrast and perhaps a better guide to general judicial policy. In this case G, misrepresenting himself as C, purchased a car from K with a stolen cheque. G later sold the car to the proprietor of a garage, who bought it in good faith. The court held that the car now belonged to the garage proprietor. The first contract, under which G had obtained the car, had been voidable, not void. K was not in error as to the identity of the person in front of him at the point of contract: whether he called himself C or G or even X was irrelevant. The original contract had been rendered voidable through induced incidental error, but the power to reduce the contract was lost when ownership passed to the bona fide third party. (iii) Error as to price This occurs where the parties are at odds either as to the price fixed in the agreement, or as to the means of determining the price to be paid. Where the contract is silent as to price and obligations under it are performed, section 8(1) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 provides that the price may be determined by examining any relevant course of dealings between the parties. Failing that a court has the power to fix a reasonable price. In Wilson v Marquis of Breadalbane 108 there was confusion about the price of cattle. The seller thought that the price was to depend on the quality of the cattle (which would have produced a price of 15 per head), whereas the buyer believed that the price had been settled at 13 per head. When the matter was disputed the court held the contract void. However, the cattle had already been slaughtered and eaten, which meant that restitutio in integrum (restoration of the pre-contractual position) was impossible. The buyer was consequently required to pay the market price of 15 per head. Stuart v Kennedy 109 concerned a contract for a quantity of coping stone, the price being agreed on a per foot basis. One of the parties had formed the impression that this was a reference to lineal feet, but the other party had square feet in mind. As a consequence there was a large discrepancy in the price. The court determined that no consensus had been achieved and the contract was thus void because the coping stone had already been laid, the buyer was again required to pay the market price for it. (iv) Error as to the quantity, quality or extent of the subject An error of this kind, which may be regarded as a sub-species of error as to subject-matter (as discussed above), will only render a contract void if it is fundamental to the agreement. Peripheral or trivial mistakes will not suffice to reduce a contract. In addition, it is usually necessary to show that the error was induced by the misrepresentation of the other party to the contract. 110 In Royal Bank v Greenshields 111 G undertook to act as a cautioner for the debt of H. G later sought to defend an action for the payment of the debt on the ground that he had consented to act while in error as to the full extent of Hs indebtedness. The court held that the contract stood. The bank owed no duty of disclosure and no inducement had taken place. Occasionally the circumstances of a case may infer misrepresentation. In Patterson v Landsberg amp Son 112 P purchased certain items of jewellery which purported to be antique. In fact the articles were merely reproductions. The contract was set aside on the basis of Ps mistake as to the quality of the goods. (v) Error as to the nature of the contract This most commonly arises where a party is mistaken as to the nature of a document that he signs. For example, in McLaurin v Stafford 113 a man mistakenly thought he was signing a will, whereas in fact the document was a disposition, which had the effect of giving his property away immediately. The disposition was set aside. However, the law does not typically view with a benevolent eye those who sign documents and subsequently claim not to have understood them unless such parties have been induced so to act by misrepresentation. In Stewart v Kennedy 114 Lord Watson said: . in the case of onerous contracts reduced to writing, the erroneous belief of one of the contracting parties in regard to the nature of the obligations which he has undertaken will not be sufficient to give him the right to rescind, unless such belief has been induced by the representations, fraudulent or not, of the other party to the contract. 115 In Royal Bank of Scotland v Purvis. 116 a wife signed a guarantee for money lent to her husband. When an action for payment was raised against the wife she sought to reduce the guarantee by claiming that she had signed the document in error as to its true nature. The court refused to set the guarantee aside: the wife knew she was signing a document that gave rise to obligations in favour of the other party, no inducement had occurred and no retrospective inquiry into her state of mind was possible. INDUCED ERROR: MISREPRESENTATION Certain information must be provided in a listed company prospectus or advert inviting members of the public to subscribe for shares or debentures under the Financial Services Act 1986. Unlisted companies may also be subject to disclosure requirements although a less onerous regime applies to them. The maxim ex turpi causa non oritur actio provides that no right of action arises from a disgraceful or immoral consideration. It is essential to the validity and enforceability of a contract that its object and performance are lawful. Pacta illicita are void and the court will not intervene to assist the parties in any way. As is expressed in the maxim in turpi causa potior est conditio possidentis. in a dispute involving an immoral purpose, the position of the possessor (or defender) is the better one. In other words, no recovery or remedy will be permitted: loss is left to lie where it falls. However, where the parties are not in pari delicto (equally at fault) the court may be moved to assist the less culpable. 152 In Cuthbertson v Lowes. 153 C sold to L two fields of potatoes at a price of 24 per Scots acre. The potatoes were delivered but L refused to pay. The Weights and Measures Acts had declared any contract which used Scots measure instead of imperial measure void, therefore the present contract, making reference to the Scots acre, was unenforceable. However, it was held that C was entitled to recover from L the market price of the potatoes at the time of their harvesting. To rule otherwise would have been to countenance the unjust enrichment of L. Statutory Illegality Statute can restrict the general freedom of contract and may declare certain types of agreement to be illegal and void, or merely unenforceable. 154 As illustrated in Cuthbertson. 155 the equitable doctrine of recompense may be invoked to do justice between the parties. The court may be moved to give effect to rights incidental to the agreement to prevent one side gaining an unfair advantage where the circumstances of a case are sympathetic to that end. If, however, there is turpis causa (immorality) in the agreement or its performance, the doctrine of recompense will not be applied. 156 Illegality at Common Law A contract is pactum illicitum if its object is or entails the commission of a crime or a delict if its purpose is in other respects immoral, for example aimed at the furtherance of sexual immorality 157 or if it is detrimental to the national interest or contrary to public policy. It is the latter category in particular that deserves further elaboration. Agreements contrary to public policy Public policy, which in this context can be understood to mean the pursuit of the common good of the community, is a nebulous and fluctuating concept. In general terms, the following categories of agreement may be deemed contrary to public policy or the national interest and held to be void or otherwise unenforceable. 158 Contracts with an enemy alien In Stewart v Stewart. 164 R, the proprietor of a photographic business in Elgin employed E as an assistant. E undertook not to carry on a photography business within 20 miles of Elgin. Later, E indicated that he intended to start his own photography business in the town. R sought to interdict him. The court held that the restraint was reasonably necessary for the protection of Rs business interests and allowed its enforcement. The Lord Justice-Clerk stated: The agreement imports no restriction on any business except that of photography, and that only in Elgin and the immediately neighbouring district. Such a restriction leaves it open to the defender to carry on any business he pleases, including photographic business, anywhere throughout the world except in a small town in the north of Scotland and a circle 20 miles round it. I cannot hold that either as regards the defenders own interests as a citizen or as regards the interests of the public in that district, there is anything that can be called unreasonable in restraint of trade, or more than a reasonable protection to the other contracting party. A photographer in a small town is desirous that the defender should not set up a rival business beside him and avail himself of the knowledge of the business and the customers of the existing establishment in which he has been an employee. That appears to me to be a most reasonable ground for such an agreement, not unduly restrictive of the liberty of the appellant to carry on business, and not detrimental to any interest in the community. 165 So, a restrictive covenant may be enforced if the employer can show he is protecting a legitimate business interest. The question as to whether a restriction is reasonable between the parties depends on the nature of the restriction, particularly with reference to its geographic extent and temporal duration. In this regard, the concept of proportionality is key. The more extensive the exclusion and the longer its duration, the more likely it is that it will be struck down. A restriction must be no wider than is reasonably necessary to achieve the protection of the interests of the employer. In judging a restriction the court will take an essentially straightforward and common sense approach, weighing up a variety of other factors, including the following: (i) The nature of the business Some businesses require more protection than others. It is legitimate for an employer to seek to safeguard trade secrets or a vulnerable clientcustomer base. Consider, for example, a dental surgery in an ordinary provincial town. Typically, the individual dentists employed at the surgery will build a personal connection and relationship with attending patients. Each dentist is likely to cultivate their own group of regular personal patients, who in turn may be disposed to ascribe their goodwill and trust to the dentist instead of to the surgery itself. If one or two dentists were to leave the surgery to set up a practice in the next street it is more than likely that many of their regular patients would migrate with them, to the significant detriment of their ex-employer. From another perspective it may be that the business in question is in the volatile high-tech or ideas industries, where research and development is the primary asset and commercial secrets determine success or failure. Compare a computer games development house with an arable farm. A farm worker is unlikely to be able to disclose much cutting-edge information on arable farming to a new employer. However, the development house may be entitled to restrict its ex-employees from working for a similar undertaking in light of the risk that their new ideas, gaming concepts and work-in-progress might be compromised. Of course, other factors must be considered before any restraint could be deemed reasonable. Although a wide geographical restriction might be tolerated, in light of the dispersed nature of the software development industry and the market it serves, it is unlikely that an excessive temporal restriction would be accepted. Commercial secrets, especially in software development, have a short shelf life: perhaps a six-month restriction would be reasonable, but three years, over which period the industry would more than likely have reinvented itself and its technology base two or three times, would almost certainly be considered draconian and unenforceable. In Prosoft Resources Ltd v Griffiths. 166 a principal software engineer was subject to a restrictive covenant excluding him from working for a competitor within a certain area for a period of 12 months after termination of his employment. It was held that the pursuers had to aver and establish that the knowledge and information, which the defender retained when he left their employment, could properly be categorised as trade secrets deserving of protection. On the facts the pursuer failed to establish the unique nature of the defenders knowledge and the restraint was set aside. (ii) The seniority of the employee and in particular the sensitivity, importance or influence of his post Generally speaking, an employer is entitled to take reasonable measures to protect his business connections and goodwill from abuse by an employee. It might be reasonable for a national fast food chain to impose a moderate restriction on the future employment activity of its marketing or finance director, who might be privy to sensitive commercial information. However, it is unlikely that the chain would be permitted to exercise the same control over an ex chip-fryer contemplating defection to a competitor. Likewise, the proprietor of a hairdressing salon may reasonably seek to put a restraint on her stylists because of the relationship they are able to cultivate with her clientele, but it would be entirely inappropriate to restrict the salon cleaner in similar fashion. In PR Consultants Scotland Ltd v Mann 167 a public relations company sought interdict against a former employee in terms of a restrictive covenant. The defender had given notice of resignation, during which period (throughout which the defender worked) a client of the pursuers transferred its account to a competitor. The defender was the person primarily responsible for that account. On termination of his employment with the pursuers, the defender accepted employment with the competitor as accounts executive responsible for said account. The covenant, which provided for a 12-month restriction on working for clients with whom the defender had dealings on behalf of the pursuers, was upheld by the court. In Bluebell Apparel Ltd v Dickinson. 168 employee D had gained knowledge of trade secrets relating to the manufacture of Wrangler jeans. He was bound by a confidentiality clause and restricted from working for a competitor for a period of two years from the end of his employment. When D left his job to take up employment with Levi Strauss amp Co, manufacturers of Levi jeans, it was held that the restraint was enforceable in light of the commercial value of the information to which he had become privy. 169 (iii) The size and nature of the restricted area A 20-mile exclusion zone might seem reasonable if radiating from Crianlarich, which, although set amid beautiful mountain scenery, is frankly in the middle of nowhere so far as business is concerned. A small greengrocer business established in the village would be vulnerable to competition some distance away because of the isolation of the area and the lack of economic development. However, precisely the same restriction imposed by a similar employer based in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow or in Princes Street, Edinburgh would almost certainly fail. In the latter cases a 20-mile exclusion zone would offer massively disproportionate protection to a greengrocer, encompassing millions of potential customers and ignoring the fact that possibly hundreds of similar businesses already flourish in the area. In Dallas, McMillan amp Sinclair v Simpson. 170 a partnership contract prohibited partners in a Glasgow firm of solicitors from carrying on business as a solicitor within 20 miles of Glasgow Cross. The restraint was deemed unreasonable. Lord Mayfield held: I find it difficult to conclude that it was necessary for the protection of the petitioners interests that the respondents should not practice in any capacity, for example in East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell or Airdrie to mention a few sizeable centres. Note in contrast that the 20-mile exclusion upheld in Stewart v Stewart. 171 applied to a sparsely populated region of northern Scotland. (iv) The duration of the restriction The general rule is that restrictions will not be permitted to apply for longer than is strictly necessary. Clearly the longer a restriction, the less likely it is that it will be accepted by the court. In The Centre for Maritime Industrial Safety Technology Ltd v Clive Crute 172 a management-level employee was offered a post with a client company of his employer after less than eight months employment. The employee was warned by his employer that he was prevented from working for the client company in question (or indeed any client) for a period of 18 months after termination of his contract of employment by virtue of a restrictive covenant and confidentiality clause in that contract. The employer was concerned, in particular, that the employee would be able to provide health and safety training at the client company which would render its own services surplus to requirements and it was asserted that the confidentiality clause in his contract prevented him using skills he had acquired at the company in his subsequent employ. The court found that the temporal restriction of 18 months was unreasonable in that it offered protection for the employer beyond that which was necessary to safeguard its legitimate business interests. On the facts, preservation of the employees right to determine his future employment and the certainty of his individual financial loss if the restraint was upheld was deemed to outweigh the theoretical risk to the business of the corporate entity. In regards to the confidentiality clause, the point was made that while it is permissible to protect confidential information, the passing on of which would in any event amount to a breach of the employees implied duty of fidelity, 173 it was not acceptable (or indeed realistic) to seek to stop an employee from using skills he has acquired in his future employment. (v) The relative bargaining positions of the parties The court will also be concerned to verify that the parties are contracting on broadly equal terms by examining their negotiating power. It is difficult to justify a one-sided agreement, and the burden will be on the dominant party so to do. In Schroeder Music Publishing v Macaulay. 174 M, a young songwriter, entered into a contract with music publishers. The contract provided that the publishers held the exclusive rights to Ms compositions for a period of five years, during which period the full, worldwide copyright would belong to the publishers. Ms remuneration was to be by royalties alone and if his royalties exceeded 5,000 the agreement was to be automatically extended by a further period of five years. On the other hand, the publishers were under no obligation to publish any of Ms songs and were entitled to terminate the agreement on a months notice. M had no right to terminate the agreement. The House of Lords held that the agreement was grossly biased in favour of the publisher. As a consequence the restraint of trade imposed on M could not be justified. Restrictions on the vendors of a business When one party buys the business of another, in part he buys the goodwill and established customer base of the business. The value of these important assets would be diminished if the seller immediately found himself free to set up a new business in competition with his former undertaking. Accordingly, the common law concedes that it may be fair to allow the purchaser to impose reasonable restrictions on the future actions of the seller in this regard. The court is usually more amenable to restrictions in this context than in the employment context, but the tests of reasonableness and proportionality are still applicable. The restraint must not cover a wider field of activity or extend for a longer duration than is absolutely necessary to safeguard the legitimate interests of the purchaser. In Dumbarton Steamboat Co Ltd v MacFarlane 175 a firm sold a carrier business to D. On taking up employment with D, partners of the vendor firm, including M, undertook not to solicit customers of the business or to carry on a similar business in the United Kingdom for a period of 10 years. About three years later, M was dismissed by D and M proceeded to set up a carrier business of his own in the Dumbarton area. It was held that M could be interdicted from canvassing former customers of the firm but that the restriction against carrying on business anywhere in the UK was unreasonable and therefore unenforceable. Furthermore, the court stated that it could not remodel the restriction so as to confine it to a more limited area. Lord Trayner said: The business which the defender sold to the pursuers was the business of a carrier between Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven and Glasgow, and it was for the pursuers protection in carrying on that business that the restriction or restraint now sought to be enforced was put on the defender. I think that restraint was unreasonable having regard to the subject-matter of the contract in which it is introduced. Its unreasonableness appears from this, that it would prevent the defender from carrying on business as a carrier, between say Liverpool and Manchester, or between Galashiels and Selkirk, both localities so distant from the place or places where the pursuers carry on the business bought by them that rivalry or competition between them and the defender is entirely out of the question. A restraint operating over so wide an area is greatly more than necessary for the pursuers protection, and cannot therefore, in my opinion, be sustained. 176 It is useful to contrast Dumbarton Steamboat with the often-cited English case of Nordenfelt v Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Co Ltd. 177 Here, the vendor of an armaments business undertook not to engage in the trade or business of an arms manufacturer anywhere in the world for a period of 25 years following the sale. This was clearly a far more onerous restriction than that set aside in Dumbarton Steamboat. but the agreement was upheld. The court reached this conclusion in light of the highly specialised nature of the business and the limited pool of customers for the product, which included national governments all over the world. Tying-in: solus agreements Modelled on the competition rules of the Treaty of Rome. the Competition Act 1998 has introduced a clearly defined anti-restrictive practices mechanism and brought UK domestic competition law into close alignment with the EC regime. The Act establishes effects-based prohibitions of anti-competitive agreements and may be invoked to regulate contracts in restraint of trade. Under section 2 of the 1998 Act (which echoes art 81(1) EC 181 ): (1). an agreement between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which (a) may affect trade within the United Kingdom, and (b) have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the United Kingdom, are prohibited unless they are exempt in accordance with the provisions of this Part. Section 4 of the Act provides that the Director General may grant an exemption from prohibition in domestic law 182 if a party to the relevant agreement makes a request for an exemption and the agreement meets the criteria laid out in section 9. Section 9 (which mirrors art 81(3) EC ) provides that an agreement must: (a) contribute to (i) improving production or distribution or, (ii) promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit but (i) impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of those objectives or (ii) afford the undertakings concerned the possibility of eliminating competition in respect of a substantial part of the products in question. Section 60 stipulates that matters arising under the Act are dealt with in a manner consistent with the treatment of corresponding provisions of Community competition law. In a field of policy that has occasionally suffered somewhat lacklustre implementation in the past, this mechanism should not only ensure UK conformity with the competition acquis communautaire. but also facilitate the maintenance of a dynamic harmony with European Court jurisprudence as it develops. Contracts in restraint of trade: severability of terms Where more than one restriction is imposed by an agreement the court may, if the structure of the contract permits, choose to sever the offending parts and allow the remainder to be enforced. In Mulvein v Murray 183 the pursuer engaged the defender under an agreement binding the defender not to sell or to canvass any of the pursuers customers, or to sell or travel in any of the towns or districts traded in by the pursuer for a period of twelve months from the date of the termination of this engagement. Later the defender terminated his employment and took up similar employment in Ayr. The pursuer brought an action for interdict. The court held that the restriction on selling to or canvassing the pursuers customers was justified, but the other restrictions were found to be unreasonable and void. 184 Accordingly, the reasonable restriction was severed from the others and upheld. In Mulvein it was possible to sever terms, but, generally speaking, if one unreasonable restraint is inextricably linked to other fundamental conditions of the contract, the whole agreement is open to challenge and likely to be rendered void. Most modern restrictive covenants anticipate and try to mitigate this risk by careful drafting and by incorporating a condition that purports to facilitate severability and establish the parties provisional consent thereto. From the perspective of the party seeking to enforce a restraint it is better that an agreement survives in part than to see the entire contract set aside because of one unacceptable term. EXEMPTION CLAUSES An exemption (or exclusion) clause is a contractual term that purports to exempt or limit the liability (particularly for negligence) of a party in breach of the agreement. Exemption clauses may be incorporated on a notice or ticket and are often included in so-called standard form contracts. Either way, the party in the stronger bargaining position usually imposes them, and he does so for his own benefit. Whatever the origin or nature of the exemption clause, three questions can be asked: (a) Is the exemption clause effectively incorporated into the contract (b) Does the exemption clause cover the breach (c) Does the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 permit the exclusion of liability Is the Exemption Clause Effectively Incorporated into the Contract As stated, the contract is made at the moment the offer is met by a valid acceptance. At that point in time the terms, rights and obligations entailed in the agreement crystallise. Thereafter the contract cannot be unilaterally varied in any way. It is important, therefore, to verify that the party seeking to incorporate the exclusion clause has effectively brought the term to the attention of the other party prior to the point of contract formation. In Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd. 185 T was permitted to enter a car park after taking a ticket from a machine at the gate. The ticket issued by the machine referred to the applicability of certain conditions. These conditions, one of which purported to exclude liability for damage to cars and personal injury, were displayed on a notice inside the car park. T suffered injury while in the car park and sued for compensation. The operators of the car park sought to rely on the aforementioned exemption but the court ruled that it was ineffective. The contract was formed when T took a ticket from the machine at the gate, 186 before he gained access to the car park and before he took sight of the notice detailing the disclaimer. Olley v Marlborough Court Ltd 187 was resolved in similar fashion. Here, a couple arrived at a hotel and paid for a room in advance at the reception desk. On the wall of their room there was a notice purporting to exclude the hotels liability for articles lost or stolen. A thief later gained entry to the room and stole valuables. It was held that the hotel could not avoid liability because the disclaimer had not been made until after the contract had been formed. Where an exemption clause is printed on a ticket its enforceability depends on whether the ticket is recognised as integral to the contract. Railway tickets, and other contracts of carriage, have been held to be contractual, 188 as have tickets for the deposit of property. 189 However, where a ticket is treated merely as a receipt or voucher, as will often be the case, any disclaimer printed on it will be legally ineffective. In Taylor v Glasgow Corporation. 190 T received a ticket after paying for entry to public baths. The ticket was to be used as a voucher to hand over to an attendant inside. A disclaimer excluding the defender from liability for personal injury and damage to property was printed on the back of the ticket. Later, T injured herself and sued G for damages. The court held that G could not rely on the exclusion clause. The ticket was merely a voucher or receipt it had been issued post-formation and could have no contractual effect. Even where a ticket is found to be integral to the contract the conditions set out on it will not be enforceable unless they are drawn effectively to the attention of the recipient. In Williamson v North of Scotland Navigation Co 191 a condition was printed on the face of a steamer ticket, but in the smallest type known. Finding the condition unenforceable, Lord Justice-Clerk Scott Dickson said: nothing was done to direct attention to the condition printed on the face of the ticket in small type, which for any passenger must have been difficult to read, and for many passengers impossible to read without artificial assistance and very favourable surroundings. 192 An exemption clause printed, albeit legibly, on the back of the ticket was at issue in Henderson v Stevenson. 193 There was no reference to the additional clause on the face of the ticket and the court held that it had not been incorporated into the contract. Hood v Anchor Line Ltd 194 provides a useful contrast. Here, the envelope containing a ticket bore a conspicuous notice on its front requesting the passenger to read the conditions of the enclosed contract. The ticket itself had on its face a notice in bold type making reference to further conditions and at the foot of the ticket a further notice, printed plainly in capital letters, directed passengers to read the conditions. It was held that the stated conditions had been incorporated into the contract. Where a party actually signs a contractual document containing an exclusion clause he is usually bound by it, even if he did not read the contract. 195 This rule will apply unless that partys consent was induced by the misrepresentation of the other party, 196 or, possibly, where the exclusion is so unusual or extreme as to warrant specific and explicit notification. 197 Does the Exemption Clause Cover the Breach At the outset it should be noted that the contra proferentem 198 rule applies to the interpretation of exclusion clauses. This requires that any ambiguities in a clause should be construed against the interests of the party seeking to enforce it. The courts typically take quite a strict line on the issue. For example, a mildly ambiguous exclusion clause relating to liability for property damage in an insurance contract was construed against the insurers in Plews v Plaistead (No 2). 199 The exclusion provided that the insurers would not be liable for damage to property which was not stored at least 12 inches above floor level. The pursuer had decided to paint some shelves, on which videotapes were kept, and had removed the tapes to the floor near the shelves, intending to replace them the following day. In the meantime he dropped a large tin of paint over the tapes. The insurers were held liable because the word stored implied a degree of permanence and did not cover articles temporarily placed on the floor. In Bovis Construction (Scotland) Ltd v Whatlings Construction Ltd. 200 W introduced a term into a construction contract with B that purported to limit Ws liability in relation to time-related costs to 100,000. In the event, W failed to carry out the contracted work. When B terminated the contract and claimed compensation amounting to 2.7m, W purported to rely on the limitation clause. The House of Lords held that it was appropriate to interpret the clause strictly, in light of the fact that it was W that had introduced it. The term time-related costs was held to apply to losses incurred as a consequence of a delay in performance, but not to those arising from non-performance. W was guilty of the latter and therefore the clause was not applicable. W was liable without limit for the breach. There is a question as to whether it is possible to exclude liability for a fundamental breach, or a total failure to perform the contract. In Photo Productions Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd. 201 P hired S to provide security for Ps factory. The parties contracted on Ss standard terms, which included an expansive exclusion clause to the effect that S was exempt from liability even in the event of damage caused by its employees. Later, one security guard deliberately started a fire at the premises. The fire got out of control and caused substantial damage to the factory. S disclaimed liability on the basis of the exclusion clause. Reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords held that, even interpreted contra proferentem. the exclusion clause was wide enough to cover the incident that had occurred and Ps case failed. In Ailsa Craig Fishing Co Ltd v Malvern Fishing Co Ltd. 202 which also involved Securicor Ltd and its standard form contract, negligent supervision led to the loss of two fishing vessels. The House of Lords held that the applicability of the exclusion clause after a fundamental breach was a matter of construction. Again, on the facts the limitation clause was deemed wide enough and clear enough to cover Securicor against liability for its own negligence. It should be noted that the contracts entered into in Photo Productions and Ailsa Craig were made prior to the entry into force of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. Under section 17 of the 1977 Act the issue of fundamental breach has been reduced to a question of whether the clause was fair and reasonable at the point of formation. Does the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 Permit the Exclusion of Liability Contrary to the impression conveyed by its title, the 1977 Act focuses specifically on the regulation of unfair exclusion clauses, both contractual and non-contractual. Part II of the Act 203 applies to Scotland. In general terms, the Act applies to: (a) Consumer contracts: where one party does not deal in the course of a business and the goods are of a type normally supplied for private use or consumption. 204 (b) Standard form contracts: where a contract is offered only on the basis of one partys standard terms. This may include contracts between businesses, although many will also be consumer contracts. It is for the court to identify this form of contract no definition is provided in the Act. Section 15 provides that the Act extends to contracts relating to goods or services of any kind, employment or apprenticeship, the use of land or the liability of the occupier of land. The Act does not apply to contracts of insurance or contracts relating to the formation, constitution or dissolution of any body corporate, unincorporated association or partnership. 205 By section 16. where a contractual term purports to exclude or restrict liability for breach of duty arising in the course of any business or from the occupation of any premises used for business purposes of the occupier, that term: (a) shall be void in any case where such exclusion or restriction is in respect of death or personal injury (b) shall, in any other case, have no effect if it was not fair and reasonable to incorporate the term in the contract. Section 17 stipulates that the incorporation of exclusion clauses and quasi-exclusion clauses (that is a condition permitting future variation of performance) in consumer contracts and standard form contracts will be void unless inclusion was fair and reasonable in the circumstances. Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 These Regulations 206 provide that a consumer 207 may set aside a contract for goods or services by showing that it is unfair. The Regulations apply to any term in a contract concluded between a seller or supplier 208 and a consumer where the term has not been individually negotiated. According to regulation 5(1) a contractual term is unfair if it is contrary to the requirement of good faith and causes imbalance in the parties rights and obligations arising under the contract to the detriment of the consumer. Regulation 6 provides that the unfairness of a contractual term should be assessed, taking into account the nature of the goods or services for which the contract was concluded and by referring, at the time of conclusion of the contract, to all the circumstances attending the conclusion of the contract and to all the other terms of the contract or of another contract on which it is dependent. Schedule 2 to the Regulations contains an indicative list of terms that may be regarded as unfair. Regulation 7 requires a seller or supplier should ensure that all written terms are set out in plain, intelligible language. This provision operates in similar fashion to the common law contra proferentem rule: where there is doubt as to the meaning of any term, the term will be construed in favour of the consumer. 209 The plain English requirement has provoked companies in many sectors to reappraise their standard contracts and has had a major impact on the banking and insurance industries in particular. A term found to be unfair will not bind the consumer, but the contract will continue to bind the parties if it is capable of continuing in existence without the unfair term. 210 Regulation 6(2) excludes the central provisions of subject-matter and price or remuneration from assessment in terms of fairness, although these provisions must still be set out in plain English. The Regulations oblige the Director General of Fair Trading to consider any complaint made to him about the fairness of any contract term drawn up for general use. The Director General may, if he considers it appropriate to do so, seek an interdict to prevent the continued use of that term or of a term having like effect. 211 The Regulations provide that a qualifying body named in Schedule 1 (including statutory regulators, trading standards departments and the Consumers Association) may also apply for an interdict to prevent the continued use of an unfair contract term provided it has notified the Director General of its intention at least 14 days before the application is made (unless the Director General consents to a shorter period). 212 Regulation 13 empowers the Director General and public qualifying bodies to require traders to produce copies of their standard contracts, and give information about their use, in order to facilitate investigation of complaints and ensure compliance with undertakings or court orders. 213 The Enterprise Act 2002 Where a breach is established it is always open to the innocent party to seek monetary compensation by way of a claim for damages. Given that damages are intended to make restitution between the parties, to compensate for loss sustained as a consequence of breach of contract, it must be shown that some form of loss has actually been caused. However, if no direct loss is suffered the court may still be moved to award nominal damages in recognition of any consequent inconvenience or other disturbance. 214 Damages can normally be claimed for pecuniary loss, personal injury and property damage. As a general rule damages are not available in contract law for anxiety and distress. In Watts v. Morrow 215 it was held that: A contract-breaker is not in general liable for any distress, frustration, anxiety, displeasure, vexation, tension or aggravation which his breach of contract may cause to the innocent party. This rule is not8230founded on the assumption that such reactions are not foreseeable, which they surely are or may be, but on considerations of policy. But the rule is not absolute. Where the very object of a contract is to provide pleasure, relaxation, peace of mind or freedom from molestation, damages will be awarded if the fruit of the contract is not provided or if the contrary result is procured instead. Farley v Skinner 216 stands as an example of the exception to the rule that damages are not recoverable for disappointment and mental distress. In this case a surveyor advised the ultimate purchaser that a house intended to be used primarily for the purpose of relaxation was not affected by serious levels of aircraft noise when in fact it was. Given that peacefulness was of the essence the House of Lords took the unusual step of awarding damages on the basis of the disappointment caused. In Mack v Glasgow City Council 217 it was held that inconvenience, as distinct from mere emotional distress, sounds in damages not because it is a species of personal injury, but because it is a recoverable head of general damages for breach of contract. On this point Fleming v Strathclyde Regional Council 218 was deemed to have been wrongly decided. In general terms, no damages will be awarded unless there is a causal link between the breach and the loss suffered. In Seton v Paterson. 219 P hired a horse from S and, in breach of contract, rode it at a gallop. As a result the horse broke a bone and was confined to stables. The horse later died from inflammation of the bowels. In a controversial ruling, the court presumed that the death was attributable to a lack of exercise caused by the confinement of the horse and held that P was liable. Seton has been criticised on the grounds that no clear connection between the original injury and the death was proved. However, once the gateway criterion of causation has been established, recoverability of loss is governed by two principles, the application of which serves to restrict and quantify damages claims. First, it is necessary to show that the loss sustained was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the breach (remoteness of damage). Second, there is a duty on the injured party to take all reasonable steps to mitigate their loss. These are discussed below. Remoteness of damage Generally speaking, the innocent party will only be permitted to recover damages for losses that should have been in the contemplation of both parties as a reasonably foreseeable consequence of breach at the time the contract was made. In Hadley v Baxendale. 220 a mill owner engaged the defendant carrier to take a broken crankshaft to be used as a pattern for a replacement. The defendant delayed in delivering the shaft and this caused the mill to be out of action for longer than anticipated. Hadley sued in respect of loss of profits during the period of additional delay. The court observed that it was common practice for millers to keep spare shafts. Typically, a spare would be utilised during the intervening period to enable the mill to continue operations. However, there was no spare and the carrier had not been advised of this fact. The court drew a distinction between general and special damages and ruled that damages could only be awarded in respect of: (a) losses which arise naturally, in the ordinary course of things (general damages) or (b) losses arising from special circumstances of which the defendant has been made aware at the point of contract (special damages). The above formulation is often referred to as the rule in Hadley v Baxendale. On the facts no recovery could be permitted. No damages were awarded under the first head because in the normal course of things the mill owner would have fitted a spare shaft and therefore suffered no loss from the delay. The fact that the mill owner did not possess a spare shaft was a special circumstance of which the carrier had no knowledge at the point of contract because the carrier was not aware of the abnormal situation he could not be made liable for the abnormal consequences and losses that followed. In Den of Ogil Co Ltd v Caledonian Railway Co. 221 a 4,000-ton steamer was lying at Plymouth with a broken piston. A replacement was cast at Port Glasgow and dispatched by passenger train to Plymouth. The defender railway company had been advised that the carriage was urgent and that delay would prevent the ship from sailing. However, the defender was not informed of the size of the ship, which had a crew of 57 on board, or that the casting was a piston. In the event a delay was incurred and the ship owners sued for damages. It was held that the railway company was liable for general damages in respect of part of the outlays arising naturally from the delay but not for special damages in the form of additional losses connected to the exceptional and unanticipated size of the ship. Underlining the point that any relevant special circumstances must be fully disclosed, Lord President Kinross said: If the defenders had been made aware of the size of the Den of Ogil and the number of her crew I think that the pursuers would have had a strong claim for the whole of such outlays during the period of detention, as it has been said that in such cases the measure of the damages is the amount of the loss which might naturally be expected by the parties in the state of knowledge which they had when they entered into the contract to result from a breach of it. In Victoria Laundry (Windsor) Ltd v Newman Industries 222 a boiler to be supplied by N to V was delivered late. As a consequence V lost (a) profits likely to have been made on the extra business the new boiler would have allowed them to take on, and (b) a valuable government contract which depended on the installation of the new boiler. It was held that N was liable in damages for the loss of general business described in (a), which was reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances, but not liable for the loss of the government contract, which was a special and unforeseeable factor that had not been disclosed at the point of contract. In Balfour Beatty Construction (Scotland) Ltd v Scottish Power plc. 223 B were engaged in the construction of a concrete aqueduct and S had agreed to supply the necessary electricity. The building works required a long continuous pour of cement, but when the electricity supply failed this was interrupted. As a result the aqueduct had to be demolished and rebuilt at a cost of approximately a quarter of a million pounds. The House of Lords dismissed Bs claim for special damages. In the ordinary course of events a power cut would not have had such costly consequences. The special circumstances had not been adequately communicated to S and it was not reasonable to attribute to S the requisite level of technical understanding of construction techniques that might have enabled them to have foreseen the likely result of a failure of the electricity supply. In a contract for the sale of goods, where it is known that the purchaser will use those goods to perform a contract with a third party, the fact that the purchaser may require to perform remedial works under the latter contract is a matter arising according to the usual course of things, to coin the words of Alderson B. in Hadley v Baxendale. This point was confirmed in Euro Pools plc v Clydeside Steel Fabrications Ltd. 224 In that case the court did not consider it necessary that the defender should be aware of all the details of the pursuers contract with the third party. All that is required to satisfy the first rule in Hadley v Baxendale is that the loss claimed by the pursuer should be such as typically arises from breach of the kind of contract under consideration. The duty to mitigate loss Whereas the remedy of damages provides compensation within the framework of the contract, the remedy of rescission allows the party to withdraw, or resile, from the contract completely, without having to perform any obligations under it. Available where the other party has wrongly induced, repudiated, or committed a material breach of the contract, rescission terminates or cancels the contract. Note that this is merely an option at the disposal of the innocent party. It is always open to waive the breach, ask for performance and seek damages in the alternative. Rescission is only justified where the breach is material 8212that is where it goes to the heart of the contract. The contract itself will often identify fundamental conditions, but in the absence of express guidance it is for the court to evaluate a particular term in all the circumstances of the case. 227 In Wade v Waldon. 228 the parties entered into an agreement by which, in March 1908, Wade was to perform at the Palace Theatre, Glasgow. One term of the agreement required artistes to give 14 days notice prior to their performances and to supply bill matter (publicity material) at the same time. In the event, Wade neither gave the requisite notice nor supplied the bill matter and Waldon refused to allow him to perform, purporting to rescind the contract. The court held that Wades breach of contract was not sufficiently material to entitle Waldon to rescind the contract, and Waldon was thus liable in damages for repudiating the contract. Lord President Dunedin said: 229 . in any contract which contains multifarious stipulations there are some which go so to the root of the contract that a breach of those stipulations entitles the party pleading the breach to declare that the contract is at an end. There are others which do not go to the root of the contract, but which are part of the contract, and which would give rise, if broken, to an action in damages. The Lord President added: 230 It is quite in the power of the parties to stipulate that some particular matters, however trivial they may be, yet shall, as between them, form conditions precedent. If they have said so, then their agreement in the matter will be given effect to, but where they have not said so in terms. then the Court must determine, looking to the nature of the stipulation, whether it goes to the essence of the contract or not. Specific implement The remedy of specific implement8212the close equivalent of which is known as specific performance in England 231 8212allows the innocent party to apply to court for an order directing the party in breach to carry out the contract. An order compelling the performance of an act is enforced by decree ad factum praestandum. 232 Where an order restricting the performance of an act is sought8212for example, to enforce compliance with a restrictive covenant8212an interdict is appropriate. Failure to comply with a court order renders the subject liable to a fine or imprisonment for contempt of court. In Scotland the breach of a contract for the sale of a specific subject such as landed estate gives the party aggrieved the legal right to sue for implement, 233 and although he may elect to do so, he cannot be compelled to resort to the alternative of an action of damages, unless implement is shown to be impossible, in which case loco facti subit damnum et interesse. 234 The court will always consider the alternative option of an award of damages where this constitutes a sufficient, appropriate and adequate remedy in the circumstances. 235 Moreover, there are a number of situations in which the remedy of specific implement is not available. In the following cases the court may refuse to grant a decree ad factum praestandum . (a) Where the obligation is to pay a sum of money the appropriate remedy is an action for payment and diligence. Generally speaking it is not competent in Scots law to grant an order that could lead to imprisonment for non-payment of a civil debt. 236 (b) Where the contract involves a personal or intimate relationship the court usually takes the view that forced compliance would be worse than non-compliance. For example, the fulfilment of an employment or partnership contract typically requires mutual trust and co-operation between the parties where this has been lost the court will not act in vain. In Skerret v Oliver 237 a presbyterian minister sought a decree ad factum praestandum to compel the church to reinstate him, but the court refused the remedy. However, in Peace v City of Edinburgh Council 238 the court accepted that a remedy amounting to specific implement was appropriate in the context of an employment contract where the parties were in general agreement as to the subsistence of the contract and the provisions could be put into effect without requiring any greater degree of contact and mutual co-operation than the parties were prepared to accept. In addition, note that an Employment Tribunal may order the reinstatement of an employee unjustifiably dismissed. (c) Where the subject of the contract lacks pretium affectionis (some special characteristic or quality), the court is likely to prefer to award the innocent party damages to enable the goods to be purchased from another source. While the court may order specific implement to enforce a contract concerning the sale of an antique oil painting, which is unique and irreplaceable, it is unlikely to do so where the contract involves generic goods easily obtainable elsewhere. (d) Where compliance with the decree is impossible: lex non cogit ad impossibilia. 239 Specific implement will not be available where a party is bound to do something that he cannot do or something that amounts to an unlawful act. (e) Where a decree would be unenforceable8212for example, where the defender is outwith the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts. (f) Where the court is of the view that grant of the decree would cause exceptional hardship, or where it would be unjust or inequitable to make such an order in all the circumstances. (g) Where it is necessary to enforce the long-term performance of a general and possibly fluctuating duty as opposed to a specific act. The parties to a contract may prefer to determine at the outset the damages payable in the event of a breach. Such contractual provisions are known as conventional or liquidate damages clauses. If a breach subsequently occurs the innocent party has a claim for the specified sum, regardless of whether the actual loss suffered is greater or less than that amount. However, a clause of this nature will only be enforceable if the court is convinced that it represents a genuine pre-estimate of the loss likely to be suffered as a consequence of the breach in question. If the court believes that a clause is designed in terrorem. 241 to intimidate or punish the party in breach by incorporating a draconian sanction, it will be treated as a penalty clause and set aside. In these circumstances the court will revert to ordinary practice and ascertain the amount of damages to be awarded on the basis of the standard rules of remoteness and mitigation discussed above. In deciding whether a clause should be treated as a genuine pre-estimate of loss or penalty, the court will adopt the perspective of the parties at the point of formation of the contract, not at the time of the breach. 242 The effect of the provision is of particular relevance. The label put on the clause by the parties is largely irrelevant. In Lord Elphinstone v Monkland Iron and Coal Co. 243 a lease contained an undertaking to soil-over deposits of slag by a certain date under a penalty of 100 per imperial acre for all ground not so restored. Despite the reference to a penalty it was held that this sum was a reasonable pre-estimate and enforceable as liquidate damages. 244 In particular, where a clause stipulates that one fixed sum is payable in the event of a number of different breaches of varying seriousness, it is unlikely to be deemed a genuine pre-estimate and will probably be discounted as penal. In Dingwall v Burnett. 245 a lease contained several obligations, of varying importance, with a provision that 50 be paid in the event of a breach of any of them. The landlord claimed in excess of 300 in response to the tenants breach, but the tenant argued his liability was restricted to the fixed sum. It was held that the 50 clause was an unenforceable penalty, because no effort had been made to link the sum to the seriousness of the breach. Resorting to normal contractual principles, and perhaps somewhat ironically, the court awarded the landlord his full claim. Occasionally, the court will acknowledge that it was impossible for the parties to make an accurate pre-estimate of loss. In these circumstances the court may uphold an apparently arbitrary sum if it appears it was fixed at a reasonable level. In Clydebank Engineering and Shipbuilding v Castaneda. 246 the Spanish Government ordered four torpedo boats (at the time of contract Spain was trying to suppress a rebellion in Cuba and anticipated hostile action from the United States of America) on the basis of a contract that contained a penalty for late delivery of 500 per week for each vessel. In the event, the boats were many months late and an action for 75,500 was brought against the shipbuilder. It was held that the clause was to be regarded as liquidate damages and not as a penalty given the difficulty in ascertaining the loss likely to be suffered as a consequence of delay. As Lord Moncrieff put it: 247 the loss sustained by a belligerent, or an intending belligerent, owing to a contractors failure to furnish timeously warships or munitions of war, does not admit of precise proof or calculation. TERMINATION OF CONTRACT This species of novation involves the substitution of a new debtor rather than the substitution of a new obligation. Again, delegation is only valid if by mutual agreement. An intent to transfer the whole obligation and extinguish the liability of the original debtor must be clearly established or the court may presume that the latter party is still obliged to perform the obligation. Sometimes known as combination. confusion occurs where the same person becomes both debtor and creditor, in the same capacity, under a contract. Since a person cannot be his own debtor, the obligation to make payment is extinguished confusione (by confusion). This situation rarely presents an issue for the courts. However, if, for example, a father loans money to his son and then dies leaving his entire estate to that son before the loan is repaid, the original debt would be extinguished by confusion. Prescription Negative prescription provides for the expiry of rights which have not been exercised after a certain period of time. Under the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 most contractual obligations prescribe after five years (short negative prescription). 250 Long negative prescription of 20 years applies to certain other rights, including in particular rights of ownership in land. The prescription clock is stopped and reset on the occurrence of either a relevant claim (where the creditor raises an action) or a relevant acknowledgment (where the debtor acknowledges his obligation in writing or takes steps towards performance). If either form of interruption takes place a new five-year prescription period commences. For the sake of completeness it should be noted that positive prescription allows for the creation of rights after the passage of a period of time, but this is not relevant here. Compensation Where the parties to a contract owe each other money the respective debts may be set off against each other so as to extinguish the obligation of one of the parties and reduce the obligation of the other. 251 For example, if Tom, a nightclub owner, owes The Black Widows 1,000 for a musical performance but the band ran up a bar bill of 250, Tom can plead compensation to the extent of the 250 the band owes him, with the result that Toms liability is reduced to 750. Compensation is only valid if the following conditions are fulfilled: (a) compensation must be pleaded in response to an action for recovery of a debt (b) both debts must be liquid (ie of an ascertained amount and due for payment), unless both debts arise from the same contract or one party is bankrupt and (c) there must be concursus debiti et crediti (the parties must be debtor and creditor in the same capacity at the same time). Frustration: Impossibility and Illegality A contract that is impossible to perform at the point of formation is no contract. A bargain of this kind is void ab initio (void from the beginning). Where a valid contract is formed but subsequent events beyond the control of the parties render performance impossible8212and it must be impossible 8212additional inconvenience will not suffice 252 the contract may be deemed frustrated. A similar fate may befall a contract that, post-formation, becomes illegal to perform. In addition, frustration may operate where a supervening change in circumstances so fundamentally alters the nature of performance that fulfilment of the original consensus is no longer possible. It is important to note that an event or incident will not serve to frustrate a contract if either party has a hand in its occurrence. If frustration is induced by one of the parties that party is likely to be liable for wrongful repudiation. 253 Moreover, the doctrine of frustration will not be applicable if the parties have foreseen the occurrence of an event and made express provision for it in the contract. 254 Where genuine frustration does occur the contract is reduced and no liability in damages will arise. That said, any monies paid over must be repaid, subject to deductions for part performance. 255 In summary, a contract may be deemed frustrated where three conditions are satisfied: (1) an event occurs after contract formation (2) none of the parties to the contract are responsible for the event and (3) the event is rendered impossible to perform or completely different in nature. Supervening impossibility Clearly, where the subject-matter of the contract or something essential to performance of the contract is destroyed, the contract will be brought to an end by frustration. This is known as rei interitus (the destruction of a thing). In Taylor v Caldwell. 256 Caldwell agreed to let a music hall to the plaintiff for a series of concerts. Before the first concert was due to take place, and through no fault of the owner, the hall was destroyed by fire. Taylor sued for breach of contract. It was held that the destruction of the hall had made performance impossible and, therefore, the defendant was not liable under the contract. Actual destruction of the subject is not a prerequisite for frustration. In London and Edinburgh Shipping Company v The Admiralty. 257 the fact that a ship had been very badly damaged, although it had not actually sunk, was sufficient to frustrate a contract for charter. A contract may also be terminated by frustration where the subject merely becomes unavailable to the parties. In Mackeson v Boyd. 258 B granted M a 19-year lease, commencing in 1926, of a mansion house. In 1940 military authorities requisitioned the property and M claimed the lease was frustrated. The court agreed. As the governments requisition had made it impossible for M to occupy the house there was constructive total destruction of the subjects let. Accordingly, M was permitted to abandon the lease. Mackeson was resolved, in particular, on the authority of the earlier Tay Salmon Fisheries v Speedie. 259 where a salmon fishing lease on a stretch of the River Tay was terminated when the Air Council declared that part of the river an aerial bombing zone. Where a contract embodies an element of delectus personae (that is where the choice of a specific person is material to the contract), a change in the personal circumstances of the subject may constitute frustration. The obvious and most clear-cut example is intervening death, but insanity, illness, injury or bankruptcy may suffice. In Condor v Barron Knights. 260 C contracted to be the drummer in a pop group with a busy schedule of performances. After he became ill his doctor advised him that he should play only four nights a week, not every night as bound by his contract. It was held that the contract was frustrated due to the deterioration in Cs health. Similarly, in Robinson v Davison. 261 a pianists contract was terminated on the onset of illness. Supervening illegality If a valid contract is formed but a change in the law or the political situation8212including, as discussed above, the outbreak of war8212renders performance illegal, the contract is terminated. It is not sufficient to show that a change (for example, the imposition of a new tax or regulation) makes performance more expensive or burdensome than had been anticipated: performance must be prohibited. In Fraser amp Co Ltd v Denny, Mott amp Dickson Ltd. 262 D contracted to supply pine wood to F. As a result of the outbreak of war restrictions were imposed on transactions of that type of timber, although the wood was available. It was held that performance was frustrated by supervening illegality. Supervening change in circumstances An offer must by word or action carry with it an objectively verifiable intention to form a binding contract, it must be communicated to another party and it must be in specific terms. An offer may be made to a specific person, a specific group of people, or it may be communicated to the world at large. It is important to distinguish between an offer and an invitation to treat. Whereas an offer can be accepted to create a contract, an invitation to treat cannot be accepted, although it may solicit an offer which might subsequently prove the basis of a contract. Usually, an offer may be revoked at any time prior to acceptance and it may lapse automatically in a number of circumstances. Generally speaking, acceptance is not effective until it is communicated to the offeror. A qualified acceptance is no acceptance. Any response to an offer which seeks to alter or add to the terms of the original offer, is a counter-offer. A counter-offer cancels the original offer and no subsequent acceptance of the original terms is valid. Where the parties communicate by means of the postal service, the postal rule operates to determine that acceptance takes place at the moment the letter of acceptance is posted. The ordinary rules of contract formation apply to contracts concluded over the Internet. At the moment of valid acceptance the contract comes into being. Once acceptance is given it cannot be withdrawn. Where error of expression occurs the courts will typically seek to enforce the original intention of the parties. The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1985 permits the rectification of documents. Where an offeror unintentionally misstates the terms of his offer the contract is likely to be deemed void if the offeree seeks to exploit the mistake. However, where the offeree accepts in good faith, unaware of the misstatement, the contract will usually be deemed voidable. Error of intention occurs where one or both of the parties are mistaken as to the nature of the contract. A contract will not usually be reduced on the ground that one party is unaware of a material fact unless that party has been induced to enter the contract by misrepresentation or fraud. Common error occurs where both parties make the same mistake about a fact connected to the contract. If the misconstrued fact is material to the transaction the contract is void. Mutual error occurs where the parties misunderstand one another and each has formed a different impression of what has been agreed. Where the error is material the contract is void. Minor errors ( error concomitans ) do not prevent consensus and a contract will usually be upheld if so affected. However, a contract may still be voidable if incidental error is induced by misrepresentation. Essential error ( error in substantialibus ) typically renders the contract void. Five types of essential error are identified: error as to subject-matter identity price quantity, quality or extent and nature of the contract. Induced Error Boyd amp Forrest v Glasgow amp South-Western Railway Co 1912 SC (HL) 93 (No 2) 1915 SC (HL) 20. Builders contracted to lay a stretch of railway track for a price of 243,000, which was determined after consideration of survey data provided by the railway company. The data was based on the work of independent surveyors, but the figures were altered by the railway companys engineer. In its altered state the data was inaccurate, in that it significantly underestimated the amount of rock to be removed because of the additional rock the work actually cost 379,000 to complete. The House of Lords held that there was no fraud the engineer had altered the notes because he genuinely believed them to be wrong. In the second action in this matter the House of Lords dismissed a claim for a remedy on the ground of innocent misrepresentation. The builders failed to prove that the statement had induced the contract. In addition, having discovered the falsity of the data they continued to work on the track, effectively barring themselves from reduction. Even if the contract had been deemed voidable, restitutio in integrum was impossible because the track had already been laid. Restraint of trade: employment see para 4821173 Stewart v Stewart (1899) 1 F 1158 R, the proprietor of a photographic business in Elgin employed E as an assistant. E undertook not to carry on a photography business within 20 miles of Elgin. Later, E indicated that he intended to start his own photography business in the town. R sought to interdict him. The court held that the restraint was reasonably necessary for the protection of Rs business interests and allowed its enforcement. Restraint of trade: sale of business see para 4821178 Dumbarton Steamboat Co Ltd v MacFarlane (1899) 1 F 993 A firm sold a carrier business to D. On taking up employment with D, partners of the vendor firm, including M, undertook not to solicit customers of the business or to carry on a similar business in the UK for a period of ten years. About three years later, M was dismissed by D and M proceeded to set up a carrier business of his own in the Dumbarton area. It was held that M could be interdicted from canvassing former customers of the firm but that the restriction against carrying on business anywhere in the UK was unreasonable and therefore unenforceable. Furthermore, the court stated that it could not remodel the restriction so as to confine it to a more limited area. Remoteness of damage see para 4821190 Hadley v Baxendale (1854) 9 Exch 341 In this case a distinction was drawn between general and special damages. It was held that damages could only be awarded in respect of: (a) losses which arise naturally, in the ordinary course of things (general damages), or (b) losses arising from special circumstances of which the defendant has been made aware at the point of contract (special damages). FURTHER READING Field and Gordon, Elements of Scots Law (2nd edn, W Green, 1997) Gloag and Henderson, The Law of Scotland (11th edn, W Green, 2001) Gordon, Contract Law (Law Basics) (W Green, 1998) Huntley, Contract: Cases and Materials (W Green, 1995) The Laws of Scotland: Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia (Law Society of Scotland Butterworths), Vol 15, Black et al, Obligations McBryde, The Law of Contract in Scotland (W GreenSULI, 1987) MacQueen and Thomson, Contract Law in Scotland (Butterworths, 2000) Marshall, Scottish Cases on Contract (2nd edn, W Green, 1993) Walker, The Law of Contracts and Related Obligations in Scotland (3rd edn, TampT Clark, 1995) Willett and ODonnell. Scottish Business Law (2nd edn, Blackstone Press, 1996) Woolman, Contract (2nd edn, W Green, 1994) Wylie and Crossan, Scots Law, Theory and Practice. (Hodder Gibson 2004) 1 Church of Scotland Endowment Committee v Provident Association of London Ltd 1914 SC 165. 2 For example, s 716 of the Companies Act 1985 provides that no more than 20 people may enter into a partnership agreement. 4 These include the power to make a will consent to an adoption order consent to medical treatment or instruct a solicitor. 5 Other transactions that cannot be set aside include: any action in civil proceedings consent to medical treatment transactions into which the other party was induced by virtue of any fraudulent misrepresentation by the applicant as to his age or other material fact transactions ratified by the applicant after achieving the age of 18 transactions ratified by the court. 6 The term necessaries includes goods necessary to support life, such as articles of food and clothing, and may extend to articles necessary to maintain a person in his particular state and station of life at the time of delivery. 7 Sale of Goods Act 1979, s 3(2). 8 Wink v Mortimer (1849) 11 D 995. copy2016 Thomson Reuters. Seluruh hak cipta. Privacy Policy and Cookies(practicallaw3-386-5597).Legal Information(practicallaw8-531-0965). Subscription enquiries 44 (0)20 7202 1220 or email subscriptionspracticallaw. The reference after links to resources on our site (e.g. 2-123-4567) is to the PLC Reference ID. This will include any PDF or Word versions of articles. Cookie Policy We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time but if you do, you may lose some functionality on our website. More information can be found in our Privacy Policy and Cookies .The Thalesians Images from Thalesians events from around the world over the past 6 years The Thalesians are a think tank of dedicated professionals with an interest in quantitative finance, economics, mathematics, physics and computer science, not necessarily in that order. Blog See our new Thalesians blog Book Buy our new book. Trading Thalesians - What the ancient world can teach us about trading today (Palgrave Macmillan) by the Thalesians co-founder, Saeed Amen amp foreword by founder, Paul Bilokon Founding The group was founded in Sep 2008, by Paul Bilokon (then a quantitative analyst at Lehman Brothers specialising in foreign exchange, and a part-time researcher at Imperial College ), and two of his friends and colleagues: Matthew Dixon (then a quantitative analyst at Deutsche Bank) and Saeed Amen (then a quantitative strategist at Lehman Brothers). The opening of Level39 in 2013 by Mayor Boris Johnson The Thalesians are also now a member of Level39 - Europes largest technology accelerator for finance, retail, cyber-security and future cities technology companies Events Research Consulting Events The Thalesians were originally based in London, UK. In Jan 2011, the organisation became truly global when Matthew Dixon brought it to the United States where he runs the Thalesians NYC seminars with New York Leader Harvey Stein. Attila Agod is the Budapest Leader for our Thalesians Budapest seminars. We are currently in the process of expanding our seminars to Prague and running more workshops. Research In late 2013, we started published ground breaking quant strategy notes. Our effort is lead by Saeed Amen, using nearly a decade of his experience both creating and later trading systematic trading models in FX at major investment banks. Visit Research for more. Consulting In 2014, we started offering bespoke quant consulting services in markets, signing up our first client, a major US hedge fund and RavenPack, a major news data vendor. Our services includes the creation of bespoke systematic trading models and other quant analysis of financial markets, such as currency hedging and FX transaction cost analysis (TCA). Visit Consulting for more. Our Philosophy We are named after Thales of Miletus ( ), a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in ca. 624 BC-ca. 546 BC. Thales was a mathematician and is familiar to many secondary school students for one of his theorems in geometry. But more relevantly to us, he was one of the first users of options: Thales, so the story goes, because of his poverty was taunted with the uselessness of philosophy but from his knowledge of astronomy he had observed while it was still winter that there was going to be a large crop of olives, so he raised a small sum of money and paid round deposits for the whole of the olive-presses in Miletus and Chios, which he hired at a low rent as nobody was running him up and when the season arrived, there was a sudden demand for a number of presses at the same time, and by letting them out on what terms he liked he realised a large sum of money, so proving that it is easy for philosophers to be rich if they choose, but this is not what they care about. Aristotle, Politics, 1259a. The morale of this anecdote is that it is easy for philosophers to be rich if they choose the famous Milesian went ahead and proved it. We, the Thalesians . admire him for that. But we also share many of his values, for example his core belief that a happy man is defined as one , , (who is healthy in body, resourceful in soul and of a readily teachable nature). This wiki was created to serve as a source of information on quantitative finance, to collate references to various related resources, and to serve as a convergence point for the Thalesians . our colleagues and collaborators. It grew out of Paul Bilokons finance wiki, which he started in February, 2007. We believe that secrecy and fidelity are important in the world of finance. But we also acknowledge the power of information sharing in open societies. Let your business logic remain a closely guarded secret. But release everything else into the public domain. What goes around, comes around this will ultimately spare you reinventing the wheel. More of our speakers at Thalesians events over the past 6 years Forthcoming Events Wed, Feb 22: Saeed Amen Wed, Mar 29: TBD Wed, Apr 26: TBD Wed, May 24: TBD Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Saeed Amen 8212 Using Python to analyse financial markets Registration One popular approach to model limit order book dynamics of the best bid and ask at level-1 is to use reduced-form diffusion approximations. It is well known that the biggest contributing factor to the price movement is the imbalance of the best bid and ask. We investigate the data of the level-1 limit order books of a basket of stocks and study the numerical evidence of drift, correlation, volatility and their dependence on the imbalance. Based on the numerical discoveries, we develop a nonparametric discrete model for the dynamics of the best bid and ask. This model can be approximated by a reduced-form model with analytical tractability that can fit the empirical data of correlation, volatilities and probability of price movement simultaneously. (Joint work with Tzu-Wei Yang) Lingjiong Zhu grew up in Shanghai and went to study in England, where he got BA from University of Cambridge in 2008. He then moved to the United States and received PhD from New York University in 2013. After a stint at Morgan Stanley, he went to work at the University of Minnesota as the Dunham Jackson Assistant Professor before joining the faculty at Florida State University as an Assistant Professor in 2015. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, traveling, and going to art exhibitions, museums and classical music concerts. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Sebastian Jaimungal 8212 Trading algorithms with learning in latent alpha models Monday, May 15, 2017: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration Alpha signals for statistical arbitrage strategies are often driven by latent factors. This paper analyses how to optimally trade with latent factors that cause prices to jump and diffuse. Moreover, we account for the effect of the traders actions on quoted prices and the prices they receive from trading. Under fairly general assumptions, we demonstrate how the trader can learn the posterior distribution over the latent states, and explicitly solve the latent optimal trading problem in an online fashion. Furthermore, we develop a forward-backward algorithm based on expectation-maximization to calibrate a pure-jump model to historical data, illustrate the efficacy of the optimal strategy through simulations, and compare to strategies which ignore learning in the latent factors. (Joint work with Philippe Casgrain, U. Toronto) Dr. Sebastian Jaimungal is a Full Professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Toronto, where he is the director of the Masters of Financial Insurance program, teaches in the Masters of Mathematical Finance program, and the PhD program. Sebastian is the current Chair (and former Vice Chair Program Director) for SIAM Financial Mathematics and Engineering (SIAGFMampE ), he is a co-author of the book titled High-Frequency and Algorithmic Trading published by Cambridge University Press (2015), and acts on the editorial board for a number of academic and industry journals including: SIAM Journal on Financial Mathematics (SIFIN), The International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), High Frequency. Journal of Risks and Argo. Sebastian is also a founding board member of the Commodities and Energy Markets Association. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Recent Events IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Alan Moreira 8212 Volatility Managed Portfolios Wednesday, February 15, 2017: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration Managed portfolios that take less risk when volatility is high produce large alphas, increase Sharpe ratios, and produce large utility gains for mean-variance investors. We document this for the market, value, momentum, profitability, return on equity, and investment factors, as well as the currency carry trade. Volatility timing increases Sharpe ratios because changes in volatility are not offset by proportional changes in expected returns. Our strategy is contrary to conventional wisdom because it takes relatively less risk in recessions yet still earns high average returns. This rules out typical risk-based explanations and is a challenge to structural models of time-varying expected returns. Alan Moreira is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Yale University School of Management. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he received his undergraduate degree from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ) and his PhD in Financial Economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Moreiras research investigates how financial intermediation shapes the real economy and the causes and consequences of fluctuations in uncertainty. His research has been published in the top journals including the Journal of Financial Economics and Journal of Finance. In addition to teaching Risk Management in the MBA program at the Yale School of Management, Dr. Moreira teaches Asset Pricing at the PhD level. In his spare time, he enjoys biking, traveling, and hanging out the family. Alan Moreira, Assistant Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management 1 IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Oskar Mencer 8212 Multiscale Dataflow Risk Computations on Hybrid Cloud Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 25th January 2017 Registration Instantaneous volatility of logarithmic return in lognormal fractional SABR model is driven by the exponentiation of a correlated fractional Brownian motion. Due to the mixed nature of driving Brownian and fractional Brownian motions, probability density for such models are less known in the literature. We present in this talk a bridge representation for the joint density of the lognormal fractional SABR model in a Fourier space. Evaluating the bridge representation along a properly chosen deterministic path yields an Edgeworth style of expansion of the probability density for the fractional SABR model. A direct generalization of the representation to joint density at multiple times leads to a heuristic derivation of the large deviations principle for the joint density in small time. Approximation of implied volatility is readily obtained by applying the Laplace asymptotic formula to the call or put prices and comparing coefficients. The presentation is based on a joint work with Jiro Akahori and Xiaoming Song. Tai-Ho Wang holds a professorship in mathematics at Baruch College, City University of New York since 2012. His research in quantitative finance includes implied volatility asymptotics in small time, static arbitrage free bounds on basket options, optimal liquidation and execution in market impact models, and recently information dynamics in financial market. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Hongzhong Zhang 8212 Intraday Market Making with Overnight Inventory Costs Thursday, December 14, 2016: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration The share of market making conducted by high-frequency trading (HFT) firms has been rising steadily. A distinguishing feature of HFTs is that they trade intraday, ending the day flat. To shed light on the economics of HFTs, and in a departure from existing market making theories, we model an HFT that has access to unlimited leverage intraday but must fund any end-of-day inventory at an exogenously determined cost. Even though the inventory costs only occur at the end of the day, they impact intraday price and liquidity dynamics. This gives rise to an intraday endogenous price impact mechanism. As time approaches the end of the trading day, the sensitivity of prices to inventory levels intensifies, making price impact stronger and widening bid-ask spreads. Moreover, imbalance of buy and sell orders may catalyze hikes and drops of prices, even under fixed supply and demand functions. Empirically, we show that these predictions are borne out in the U.S. Treasury market, where bid-ask spreads and price impact tend to rise towards the end of the day. Furthermore, price movements are negatively correlated with changes in inventory levels as measured by the cumulative net trading volume. (Joint work with Tobias Adrian, Agostino Capponi, and Erik Vogt) Hongzhong Zhang is an assistant professor at Columbia University. His research focuses on the broad area of applied probability with applications in engineering, finance and insurance. In particular, some of his current research interests include asymptotics, drawdowns, optimal stopping, and detection of regime changes. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Xmas Party (London) 8212 Iain Clark 8212 Implied Distributions from FX Risk-Reversals and Predictions for the Effect of the Brexit Vote and the Trump election We would like to invite you to our Thalesians Christmas seminar in London, where Iain Clark will be presenting This will be followed by our Christmas party at the GampTea Bar in the Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, where we will be serving drinks and canapes. The ticket price includes both the talk and the party (first drinks canapes). The canape selection will include some of the following: Aubergine and haloumi wrap Brie and parma ham finger brioche Crudits and hummus shot glasses Open face smoked salmon bagel Mini burgers Lamb samosa Spring rolls Prawn potato shells Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Monday 12th December 2016 Ginger Room, followed by drinks amp canapes at GampTea Bar, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK, Meetup In May 2016 it was noted, in the audience QampA after a presentation by the speaker, that GBPUSD risk reversals were exhibiting very unusual behaviour - namely, extreme skew in short dated tenors but relatively flat smiles thereafter. This is a most unusual volatility signature and the connection with the upcoming Brexit referendum vote was immediately made. The speaker, as a matter of urgency given the topical nature of the pre-Brexit market, performed an analysis with his co-author on implied distributions for the market expectations for GBPUSD around the referendum date (23 June 2016), with predictions for spot thereafter. The paper was uploaded to SSRN (ssrnabstract2794888 ) on 13 June, in which we identified empirical evidence in the volatility skew for a fall in GBPUSD from 1.4390 to the range 1.10 to 1.30 in the event of a Leave vote - a downward move of 0.14 to 0.34. The analysis, unusually for quant research, received coverage in the FT and the Sunday Telegraph and indeed our predictions were borne out when the referendum result was announced and sterling fell from 1.50 to 1.33 - a downward move of 0.17 - in a matter of hours. Subsequent to this analysis, we applied similar methods to the Mexican peso quoted versus the US dollar (USDMXN) immediately before the 2016 US election and we were able to predict peso devaluation into a range of 20-24 pesos per dollar in the event of a Trump victory, which was borne out by subsequent events. In this talk I will go through our analysis of the information embedded in the volatility skew and the basis for our predictive analysis. Iain J. Clark (MIMA CMath, MInstP CPhys, CStat, FRAS) has over 14 years experience as a front office quant. He has worked as Head of FX and Commodities Quantitative Analysis at Standard Bank, as Head of FX Quantitative Analysis at Unicredit and at Dresdner Kleinwort, and at Lehman Brothers, BNP Paribas and JP Morgan. Iain has a PhD in applied mathematics from Queensland University and a MSc in financial mathematics from Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities. His main research interests are on exotic options, stochastic models for FX and commodities, and numerical methods for option pricing. He is a frequent contributor to industry conferences, training courses and invited speaker at various universities. His first book Foreign Exchange Option Pricing: A Practitioners Guide was published in November 2010 by Wiley Finance and his second book Commodity Option Pricing: A Practitioners Guide is due to appear in early 2014 (also with Wiley Finance). Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Vlasios Voudouris 8212 Flexible machine learning for finance Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 Ginger Room, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK. Meetup With rapid changes in computing technology and the big data age, the field of data science is constantly challenged. Data scientists job is to make sense of the vast amounts of data: to extract important patterns and trends, and understand what the data says. The challenges in learning from data have led to a revolution in machine learning techniques. The GAMLSS suite of tools in our attempt to learn from financial data. GAMLSS is now widely used for predictive analytics and risk quantification (e.g. loss given default). Because of the flexibility of GAMLSS models, we can capture the following data characteristics: The heavy-tailed or light-tailed characteristics of the distribution of the data. This means that the probability of rare events (e.g. an outlier value) occurs with higher or lower probability compared with the normal distribution. Furthermore, the probability of occurrence of an outlier value might change as a function of the explanatory values. The skewness of the response variable, which might change as a function of the explanatory variables. The nonlinear or smooth relationship between the target variable and the explanatorypredictor variables. Based on our book Flexible Regression and Smoothing: Using GAMLSS in R, the talk includes a large number of practical examples (e.g. predictions and risk quantification) which reflect the range of problems addressed by GAMLSS models. This also means that the examples provide a practical illustration of the process of using GAMLSS models for machine learning. Vlasios Voudouris is a Data Scientist with expertise in data-driven predictive analytics and risk quantification of financial markets. His primary research focus is on i) semi-parametric machine learning models ii) innovative model selection processes and iii) robust diagnostics for systematic trading and risk quantification. He is the co-author of the book Flexible Regression and Smoothing: Using GAMLSS in R and the associated software in R and Java. GAMLSS (Generalized Additive Models for Location Scale and Shape) is about learning from data using semi-parametric supervised machine learning algorithms. Furthermore, Vlasios developed data-driven agent-based models for stress testing scenarios (with an emphasis on commodity markets). His models and tools are used by a range of organisations. By way of two specific examples: 1) the IMF used GAMLSS for stress testing the U.S. financial System 2) Vlasios and his colleagues demonstrated a suite of GAMLSS models for the Bank of England (BoE). Using GAMLSS, Vlasios developed a systematic trading model for WTI Crude Oil (NYMEX). Vlasios holds a Ph.D. from City, University of London. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Michael Imerman 8212 Insights from a Data-Driven Analysis of the Volatility Risk Premium Thursday, November 17, 2016: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration Much of this talk will come from joint work I did with Jianqing Fan at Princeton and Wei Dai now at Dimensional Fund Advisors. We set out to provide a purely data-driven analysis of the volatility risk premium, using tools from high-frequency finance and Big Data analytics. We argue that the volatility risk premium, loosely defined as the difference between realized and implied volatility, can best be understood when viewed as a systematically priced bias. We first use ultra-high-frequency transaction data on SPDRs and a novel approach for estimating integrated volatility on the frequency domain to compute realized volatility. From that we subtract the daily VIX, our measure of implied volatility, to construct a time series of the volatility risk premium. To identify the factors behind the volatility risk premium as a priced bias we decompose it into magnitude and direction. We find compelling evidence that the magnitude of the deviation of the realized volatility from implied volatility represents supply and demand imbalances in the market for hedging tail risk. It is difficult to conclusively accept the hypothesis that the direction or sign of the volatility risk premium reflects expectations about future levels of volatility. However, evidence supports the hypothesis that the sign of the volatility risk premium is indicative of gains or losses on a delta-hedged portfolio consistent with Bakshi and Kapadia (2003). As someone who has come from a background in financial modeling but has developed a penchant for data science and analytics, I will spend some time at the end of my talk on my thoughts about how data science is being embraced (in some ways, and eschewed in others) by the quantitative finance community. Michael B. Imerman is the Theodore A. Lauer Distinguished Professor of Investments and Assistant Professor in the Perella Department of Finance at Lehigh University. Dr. Imermans previous appointments were at Princeton in the ORFE Department and Rutgers Business School from where he received his Ph.D. Before coming to academia, Imerman worked as an analyst at Lehman Brothers supporting the high grade credit and credit derivative trading desks. At Lehigh, Professor Imerman teaches Derivatives and Risk Management both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His primary research area is in credit risk modeling with applications to banking, risk management, and financial regulation. Most recently he has been actively involved in integrating data science techniques into the evaluation of risk in the securitized mortgage market. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Prof David Hand 8212 The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day Date and Time Registration Sellers of variance swaps earn time-varying risk premia for their exposure to realized variance, the level of variance swap rates, and the slope of the variance swap curve. To measure the variance term premium, we estimate a dynamic term-structure model that prices variance swaps across the US, UK, Europe, and Japan. The model decomposes the variance swap curve into term-structures of risk premia and expected quantities of risk. Empirically, we document a strong factor structure in global variance swap rates and find that variance term premia are negatively correlated with the wealth of the financial intermediary sector. Our results support the hypothesis that financial intermediaries are the marginal investor in the variance swap market. Erik Vogt is a financial economist in the Capital Markets Function of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His main research interests are in asset pricing, financial econometrics, volatility and liquidity risk, and high-frequency data across a variety of asset classes, including equities, Treasuries, derivatives, and corporate bonds. His research on market liquidity and broker-dealers has received media coverage in Bloomberg, Reuters, and Yahoo Finance, among others, and was also cited in U.S. Senate testimony before the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, and the Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Erik actively serves as a referee for several peer-reviewed journals, including the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Empirical Finance, the Journal of Financial Econometrics, and Quantitative Finance. Erik joined the New York Fed in July 2014 and holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Duke University and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Economics from the London School of Economics. Prior to graduate school, he worked as an Associate Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Nick Baltas 8212 Multi-Asset Carry Strategies Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 28th September 2016 Ginger Room, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK. Meetup Carry strategies have been primarily studied and explored within currency markets, where, contrary to the uncovered interest rate parity, borrowing from a low interest rate country and investing in a high interest rate country has historically delivered positive and statistically significant returns. This presentation extends the notion of carry to different asset classes by looking at the futures markets of commodities, equity indices and government bonds. We explore the profitability of cross-sectional and time-series variants of the carry strategy within each asset class but most importantly we investigate the benefits of constructing a multi-asset carry strategy after properly accounting for the covariance structure of the entire universe. Nick Baltas is an Executive Director within the Global Quantitative Research group at UBS. His research interests include systematic multi-asset strategies, portfolio construction, risk analysis and performance evaluation. Nick joined UBS in February 2013 and since then he additionally maintains visiting academic positions at Imperial College Business School and Queen Mary University of London. His research has been awarded with numerous grants and prizes and quoted by the financial press. Prior to his current role, Nick spent two years as Lecturer in Finance at Imperial College Business School, when he was awarded the Star Teacher of the Year award for both years in recognition of his teaching, and almost a year as risk manager in a London-based equity hedge fund. He holds a DEng in electrical and computer engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, an MSc in communications amp signal processing from Imperial College London and a PhD in finance from Imperial College Business School. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Arun Verma 8212 Statistical arbitrage using news and social sentiment based quant trading strategies Thursday, September 15, 2016: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration To explore the value embedded in News amp Social Sentiment data, we build three types of equity trading strategies based on sentiment data and show that strategies based on sentiment outperform the corresponding benchmark indexes significantly. Arun Verma joined the Bloomberg Quantitative Research group in 2003. Prior to that, he earned his Ph.D from Cornell University in the computer science amp applied mathematics. At Bloomberg, Dr. Vermas work initially focused on Stochastic Volatility Models for EquityFX Derivatives and Exotics pricing, e.g. Arbitrage free Volatility interpolation, Variance Swaps and VIX FuturesOptions pricing and Cross Currency Volatility Surface construction. More recently, he has enjoyed working at the intersection of such areas as data science, innovative quantitative techniques and interactive visualizations for help reveal embedded signals in financial data, e.g. building quant trading strategies for statistical arbitrage. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Scott Cogswell 8212 Initial Margin Model and Regulation for Uncleared Derivatives Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 20th July 2016 Meetup Deep Learning has experienced explosive growth over the last few years with applications in diverse areas such as biomedicine, language processing and self-driving cars. The goal of this talk is to give an introduction to Deep Learning from the perspective of learning patterns in sequences, with an emphasis on understanding the core principles behind the algorithms. We will review the latest advances in Recurrent Neural Networks and discuss applications of RNNs to learning patterns in market data. Steve Hutt is a consultant in Deep Learning and Financial Risk, currently working for CME Group. He has previously been head quant for credit at UBS and Morgan Stanley, and before that a mathematician doing stuff in an obscure branch of topology. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Tobias Adrian 8212 Nonlinearity and Flight-to-Safety in the Risk-Return Tradeoff for Stocks and Bonds Thursday, June 16, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 905907, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration We document a highly significant, strongly nonlinear dependence of stock and bond returns on past equity-market volatility as measured by the VIX. We propose a new estimator for the shape of the nonlinear forecasting relationship that exploits additional variation in the cross section of returns. The nonlinearities are mirror images for stocks and bonds, revealing flight to safety: Expected returns increase for stocks when volatility increases from moderate to high levels, while they decline for Treasuries. We further demonstrate that these findings are evidence of dynamic asset pricing theories where the time variation of the price of risk is a function of the level of the VIX. Tobias Adrian is a Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Associate Director of Research and Statistics Group. His research covers asset pricing, financial intermediation, and macroeconomics, with a focus on the aggregate implications of capital market developments. He has contributed to the NY Feds financial stability policy and to its monetary policy briefings. Tobias Adrian holds a Ph.D. from MIT and a MSc from LSE. He has taught at MIT, Princeton University, and NYU. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (Zurich) 8212 Felix Zumstein - Python in Quantitative Finance Date and Time 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, 9 June, 2016 Examining the electronic trading business from a practitioners perspective. This business has undergone many changes in recent years due to the emergence of new hardware and software products, the development of new quantitative and computational techniques, and changes in market structure and regulations. A market maker needs to be agile in order to remain competitive. This synoptic talk briefly considers the various factors that come into a market makers business calculus. Paul A. Bilokon is Director at Deutsche Bank, where he runs the global credit and core quant teams, part of Markets Electronic Trading (MET) group. He is one of the pioneers of electronic trading in credit, including indices, single names, and cash, and has worked in e-trading, derivatives pricing, and quantitative finance at bulge bracket institutions, including Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Nomura, and Citigroup. His more than a decade-long career spans many asset classes: equities, FX spot and options, rates and credit. Paul was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and Imperial College. The domain-theoretic framework for continuous-time stochastic processes, developed with Prof. Abbas Edalat, earned him a PhD degree and a prestigious LICS paper. Pauls other academic interests include stochastic filtering and machine learning. He is an expert developer in C, Java, Python, and kdbq, with a special interest in high performance scientific computing. His interests in philosophy and finance led him to formulate the vision for and found Thalesians, a think tank of dedicated professionals working in quant finance, economics, mathematics, physics and computer science, the focal point of a community with over 1,500 members worldwide. He serves as its CEO, and runs it with two of his friends and colleagues, Saeed Amen and Matthew Dixon, as fellow Directors. Dr. Bilokon is a joint winner of the Donald Davis Prize (2005), winner of the British Computing Society Award for the Student Making the Best Use of IT (World Leadership Forums SET award, 2005), Ward Foley Memorial Scholarship (2001), two University of London High Achiever Awards (in mathematics and physics, 1999) a Member of the British Computer Society, Institution of Engineering and Technology, and European Complex Systems Society Associate of the Securities and Investment Institute, and Royal College of Science and a frequent speaker at premier conferences such as Global Derivatives, alphascope, LICS, and Domains. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Luis Seco 8212 Hedge funds: are negative fees in the horizon An option pricing perspective Thursday, May 12, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration The growth of the hedge fund sector is creating a difficult environment for start-ups, which is creating a climate that favors innovative fee structures. In this talk we will review some of them, and will propose a costbenefit analysis using Black-Scholes option pricing which will show that in some situations, the manager will pay the investor. Luis Seco is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto, where he also directs the Mathematical Finance Program and the RiskLab, a research laboratory that specializes in risk management research. He is the President and CEO of Sigma Analysis amp Management, an asset management firm that provides hedge fund investment products that employ managed account structures to obtain unique transparency, analytics and liquidity services. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from Princeton and was a Bateman Instructor at the California Institute of Technology. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. ThalesiansQuant Finance Group Germany (Frankfurt) 8212 Thomas Wiecki 8212 Predicting out-of-sample performance and building multi-strategy portfolios using Random Forests Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 11th May 2016 PPI AG Office, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strae 79, Frankfurt Am Main Meetup FREE event, kindly hosted by PPI Thanks for Jochen Papenbrock and Adrian Zymolka for organising and for PPI for hosting. The question of how predictive a backtest is of out-of-sample performance is at the heart of algorithmic trading. Using a unique dataset of 888 algorithmic trading strategies developed and backtested on the Quantopian platform with at least 6 months of out-of-sample performance, we study the prevalence and impact of backtest overfitting. Specifically, we find that commonly reported backtest evaluation metrics like the Sharpe ratio offer little value in predicting out of sample performance (R lt 0.025). However, we show that by training a Random Forest regressor on a variety of features that describe backtest behavior, out-of-sample performance can be predicted at a much higher accuracy (R 0.17) on hold-out data compared to using linear, univariate features. We then show that we can construct a multi-strategy portfolio based on predictions by the Random Forest which performed significantly better out-of-sample than other alternatives. Thomas Wiecki is the Data Science Lead at Quantopian focusing Bayesian models to evaluate trading algorithms. Previously, he was a Quantitative Researcher at Quantopian developing an open-source trading simulator as well as optimization methods for trading algorithms. Thomas holds a PhD from Brown University. Global Derivatives (Budapest - External Event) 8212 Speakers including Carr amp Hull 8212 Trading and risk management Thalesians Workshop Date and Time 9th - 13th May, 2016 Hotel Intercontinental, Budapest, Hungary To sign up You can register for this event and pay online at the Global Derivatives Europe website: icbi-derivativesFKN2466TH - Members of the Thalesians receive a 15 discount (click on the link to activate) The Worlds Largest Quant Finance Conference Join 500 Quants amp Traders From Around The World Over 130 Sessions Covering 5 Full Days Of Content 120 Expert Speakers Buy-Side Summit: Quantitative Investment amp Portfolio Strategies Fintech amp Disruptive Innovation Summit Unmissable speakers for 2016 Peter Carr, Global Head of Market Modelling, Morgan Stanley John Hull, Professor Of Derivatives amp Risk Management, University of Toronto Zoltan Eisler, Co-Head of Execution, Capital Fund Management Fabrizio Anfuso, Head of Collateralized Exposure Modelling, Credit Suisse Th alesians Workshop on ElectronicSystematic Trading at Global Derivatives The Thalesians will be running a workshop at Global Derivatives, which will be led by Saeed Amen and Paul Bilokon, who have a combined experience of two decades in this field. Topics to be discussed include market microstructure and an interactive Python session on systematic trading strategies. Introduction to algorithmic trading and market microstructure models Foundations of linear filtering with applications Foundations of nonlinear filtering with applications How can we define beta in FX and how can we make it smarter Trading with Big Data: Creating systematic trading strategies in FX and fixed income, using new forms of data, with a focus on central bank communications, alpha capture amp news analytics Trading Strategy Focus: How to build a CTAtrend following fund Python amp PyThalesians: Going from systematic trading ideas to backtesting in Python (with tutorial) Author Talk: Trading Thalesians What the ancient world can teach us about trading today (Palgrave Macmillan) External: Emerging Quant Managers (Chicago) 8212 Euan Sinclair 8212 Systematic Vol Trading Date and Time 3:30 p.m. on Friday 6th May 2016 In this talk, we investigate whether we can improve the risk adjusted returns of a traditional, directional (CTA style) trend following strategy by employing systematic option trading strategies. We shall be looking at several markets including FX and equities. Jacob Bartram has extensive experience in trading at both banks and hedge funds. His background includes FX option and volatility trading, along with trading system design and development. He has presented at numerous industry conferences, including Global Derivatives and TradeTech FX. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Lawrence R. Glosten 8212 Strategic Foundation for the Tail Expectation in Limit Order Book Markets Thursday, April 14, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration We analyze the strategic interactions of liquidity suppliers quoting on a limit order book. In an environment with noise traders and informed traders trading on news we show that there is an equilibrium that feature quoters using mixed strategies each offering the same quantity of shares at random prices (and, of course, random bid prices). These random prices with the associated quantities form the market quotes and the depth of book, or price schedule. There are equilibria with a smaller number of quoters quoting a larger number of shares and equilibria with a larger number of quoters quoting a smaller number of shares. Considering a sequence of equilibria with the number of quoters getting large, we establish that the stochastic equilibrium price schedule converges to the zero profit deterministic competitive price schedule. An offer (or bid) is characterized as the expectation of the future value conditional on the offer being picked off by a larger buy (or sell) order. Lawrence R. Glosten is the S. Sloan Colt Professor of Banking and International Finance at Columbia Business School. He is also co-director (with Merritt Fox and Ed Greene) of the Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets at Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School and is an adjunct faculty member at the Law School. He has been at Columbia since 1989, before which he taught at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and has held visiting appointments at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota. He has published articles on the microstructure and industrial organization of securities markets the relationship between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs evaluating the performance of portfolio managers asset pricing and more recently exploration of the law and economics of capital market regulation. His work on electronic exchanges in the Journal of Finance won a Smith Breeden Distinguished Paper Prize. He has served as an editor of the Review of Financial Studies, associate editor of the Journal of Finance and serves on several other editorial boards. He has been a consultant for the New York Stock Exchange, Justice Department, and SEC and has served on the NASDAQ Economic Advisory Board. He received his AB from Occidental College (1973) and his Ph.D. in managerial economics from Northwestern University (1980). IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Robin Hanson 8212 Economics when robots rule the Earth (Book) Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Monday, 21 March, 2016 Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14, UK Meetup FREE event - kindly sponsored by the Level39 - fintech accelerator - level39.co Full title: The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth (Amazon pre-order book here ) Robots may one day rule the world, but what is a robot-ruled Earth like Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations or ems. Scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer, and you have a robot brain, but recognizably human. Train an em to do some job and copy it a million times: an army of workers is at your disposal. When they can be made cheaply, within perhaps a century, ems will displace humans in most jobs. In this new economic era, the world economy may double in size every few weeks. Some say we cant know the future, especially following such a disruptive new technology, but Professor Robin Hanson sets out to prove them wrong. Applying decades of expertise in physics, computer science, and economics, he uses standard theories to paint a detailed picture of a world dominated by ems. While human lives dont change greatly in the em era, em lives are as different from ours as our lives are from those of our farmer and forager ancestors. Ems make us question common assumptions of moral progress, because they reject many of the values we hold dear. Read about em mind speeds, body sizes, job training and career paths, energy use and cooling infrastructure, virtual reality, aging and retirement, death and immortality, security, wealth inequality, religion, teleportation, identity, cities, politics, law, war, status, friendship and love. This book shows you just how strange your descendants may be, though ems are no stranger than we would appear to our ancestors. To most ems, it seems good to be an em. Robin Dale Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He is known as an expert on idea futures and markets, and he was involved in the creation of the Foresight Exchange and DARPAs FutureMAP project. He invented market scoring rules like LMSR (Logarithmic Market Scoring Rule)used by prediction markets such as Consensus Point (where Hanson is Chief Scientist), and has conducted research on signaling. MathFinance 2016 (Frankfurt - External Event) 8212 Speakers including Wystup amp Dupire 8212 Quant event Date and Time 21-22st March 2016 Frankfurt School of Finance amp Management To sign up You can find out more about this event and register and pay online at the MathFinance website: mathfinanceconference.html In the past 16 years the MathFinance Conference became to one of the top quant events tailored to the European Finance Community. The conference is intended for practitioners in the areas of trading, quantitative or derivative research, risk and asset management, insurance as well as for academics studying or researching in the field of financial mathematics or finance in general. The Conference talks are given by both industry experts and top academics. A wide range of subjects is covered, from state-of-the-art approaches to key issues faced in industry and academia to IT implementation and pricing software. There will be enough time for questions and discussions after each talk and additional breaks provide you the opportunity to build networks within the quantitative finance community. Many speakers who have also spoken at the Thalesians will be speaking, including Uwe Wystup and Attilio Meucci. Many other well known figures such as Bruno Dupire will also be addressing the conference. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Alexander Lipton 8212 Modern Monetary Circuit Theory Tuesday, March 15, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration A modern version of Monetary Circuit Theory with a particular emphasis on stochastic underpinning mechanisms is developed. It is explained how money is created by the banking system as a whole and by individual banks. The role of central banks as system stabilizers and liquidity providers is elucidated. Both the Chicago Plan and the Free Banking Proposal are discussed. It is shown how in the process of money creation, banks become naturally interconnected. A novel Extended Structural Default Model describing the stability of the Interconnected Banking Network is proposed. The purpose of bank capital and liquidity is explained. A multi-period constrained optimization problem for a banks balance sheet is formulated and solved in a simple case. Both theoretical and practical aspects are covered. Alexander Lipton is a Managing Director, Quantitative Solutions Executive at Bank of America, Visiting Professor of Quantitative Finance at University of Oxford and Advisory Board member at the Oxford-Man Institute. Prior to his current role, he was a Managing Director, Co-head of the Global Quantitative Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and a Visiting Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College London. Earlier, he was a Managing Director and Head of Capital Structure Quantitative Research at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago he has also worked for Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust. Before switching to finance, Alex was a Full Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois and a Consultant at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in pure mathematics from Moscow State University. Liptons interests encompass all aspects of financial engineering, including large-scale bank balance sheet modeling and optimization, enterprise-wide holistic risk management and stress testing, CCPs, electronic trading, trading strategies, payment systems, theory of monetary circuit, as well as hydrodynamics, magnetohydrodynamics, and astrophysics. Lipton authored two books, and edited five books, including, most recently, Risk Quant of the Year Award, Risk Books, London, 2014, and The Oxford Handbook of Credit Derivatives, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011 (with Andrew Rennie). He published more than a hundred scientific papers on a variety of topics in applied mathematics and financial engineering. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Prof Jessica James 8212 FX Option Trading (Book) Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Monday, 29 February, 2016 Ginger Room, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK. Meetup Full title: FX Option Performance - An Analysis of the Value Delivered by FX Options Since the Start of the Market (The Wiley Finance Series) (Amazon book order here ) Get the little known yet crucial facts about FX options Daily turnover in FX options is an estimated U.S. 207 billion, but many fundamental facts about this huge and liquid market are generally unknown. FX Option Performance provides the information practitioners need to be more effective in the market, with detailed, specific guidance. This book is a unique and practical guide to option trading, with the courage to report how much these contracts have really made or lost. Breaking free from the typical focus on theories and generalities, this book gets specific travelling back in history to show exactly how options performed in different markets and thereby helping investors and hedgers alike make more informed decisions. Not overly technical, the rigorous approach remains accessible to anyone with an interest in the area, showing investors where to look for value and helping corporations hedge their FX exposures. FX Option Performance begins with a quick and practical introduction to the FX option market, then provides specific advice toward structures, performance, rate fluctuation, and trading strategies. Examine the historical payoffs to the most popular and liquidly traded options Learn which options are overvalued and which are undervalued Discover surprising, generally unpublished facts about emerging markets Examine systemic option trading strategies to find what works and what doesnt On average, do options result in profit, loss, or breaking even How can corporations more costeffectively hedge their exposure to emerging markets Are cheap outofthemoney options worth it Professor Jessica James is Senior Quantitative Researcher at Commerzbank in London. She joined Commerzbank from Citigroup where she held a number of FX roles, latterly as Global Head of the Quantitative Investor Solutions Group. Prior to this she was the Head of Risk Advisory and Currency Overlay for Bank One. Before her career in finance, James lectured in physics at Trinity College, Oxford. Her significant publications include the Handbook of Foreign Exchange (Wiley), Interest Rate Modelling (Wiley), and Currency Management (Risk books). Her new book FX Option Performance was published in May 2015. She has been closely associated with the development of currency as an asset class, being one of the first to create overlay and currency alpha products. Jessica is a Managing Editor for the Journal of Quantitative Finance, and is a Visiting Professor both at UCL and at Cass Business School. Apart from her financial appointments, she is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and has been a member of their governing body and of their Industry and Business Board. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Harry Mamaysky 8212 Does Unusual News Forecast Market Stress Meetup How to build a CTA - Creating a trend following fund (Saeed Amen) - In this talk we explain how to create trend following strategies which CTA-style funds typically follow. We shall also give a step by step demo of implementing an FX trend following strategy in PyThalesians - open source Python library for analysing markets - githubthalesianspythalesians Pair trading strategies (Delaney Granizo-Mackenzie) - Pairs trading is a form of mean reversion that has a distinct advantage in always being hedged against market movements. It is generally a high alpha strategy when backed up by some rigorous statistics. Delaney Granizo-Mackenzie will review some general principles for pairs trading, and then dive into the statistics behind the strategy during this talk. What is cointegration How to test for cointegration What is pairs trading How to find cointegrated pairs How to generate a tradeable signal This talk is part of The Quantopian Lecture Series. All lecture materials can be found at: quantopianlectures. Saeed is the founder of Cuemacro and is a co-founder of the Thalesians. Over the past decade, Saeed Amen has developed systematic trading strategies at major investment banks including Lehman Brothers and Nomura. Independently, he is also a systematic FX trader, running a proprietary trading book trading liquid G10 FX, which has had a Sharpe ratio over 1.5 since 2013. He is also the author of Trading Thalesians: What the ancient world can teach us about trading today (Palgrave Macmillan). Delaney Granizo-Mackenzie is an engineer at Quantopian who focuses on how Quantopian can be used as a teaching tool. After studying computer science at Princeton, Delaney joined Quantopian in 2014. Since then he has led successful course integrations at MIT Sloan and Stanford, and is working with over 20 courses for this fall. Delaney is using his experience and feedback from professors to build a quantitative finance curriculum focusing on best statistical practices to be offered for free. Delaneys background includes 7 years of academic research at a bioinformatics lab, and a strong focus on statistics and machine learning. Thalesians Sance (Budapest) 8212 Robin Hanson amp Panel 8212 Economics when robots rule the Earth A very special thanks to Attila Agod for organising this talk Our goal is to create a social convergence point for the quantitative financial professionals in Hungary with quarterly events Date and Time 7:00 p.m. on Fri 29th January, 2016 7:00 p.m. - Welcome drinks, 8:00 p.m. - Robin Hanson presentation 9:00 p.m. - Discussion panel 12.00 a.m. - Next pub Palack Borbr, Szent Gellrt sqr 3, Budapest Meetup At the 8th Thalesians Sance, Robin Hanson will present us a thought experiment about the life and economics of our society after the singularity. Robin is the author of the Age of Em - Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth (ageofem ). Members of the panel: - Attila Agod - Mark Horvath (Causality) - Saeed Amen (The Thalesians) Robin Dale Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He is known as an expert on idea futures and markets, and he was involved in the creation of the Foresight Exchange and DARPAs FutureMAP project. He invented market scoring rules like LMSR (Logarithmic Market Scoring Rule)used by prediction markets such as Consensus Point (where Hanson is Chief Scientist), and has conducted research on signaling. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Nick Firoozye 8212 Managing Uncertainty, Mitigating Risk (Book) Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 20 January, 2016 Ginger Room, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK. Meetup Financial risk management started in a period when academic finance was wedded to probability. Risk and its transferability was the focus and uncertainty was sidelined. After the recent financial crisis, uncertainty and its consequences have become a major concern for many prominent academics, yet practitioners are constrained by probability-based tools and regulatory mandates. Managing Uncertainty, Mitigating Risk offers a liberated perspective on uncertainty in banking and finance. The book stresses that uncertainty must be confronted by using a broader range of inputs, employing methods outside conventional probability. More often than not, systemic risks are not completely unforeseeable and a range of likely risk scenarios can be fleshed out, quantified and largely mitigated. We can accomplish this only if we widen our knowledgebase to include qualitative data and judgment. Probability and historical data alone cannot sufficiently model game-changing and catastrophic one-off situations such as Eurozone exit and breakup, US debt ceiling, and Brexit. This book presents a robust foundation and a novel and practical method for incorporating uncertainty into existing risk frameworks. It takes the reader beyond the realms of probability in modern finance, into imprecise probability the mathematics of uncertainty. We introduce uncertain value-at-risk (UVaR), a measure which takes the VaR engine and enhances it using credal nets, an imprecise extension of Bayesian nets. Unlike the unjustified precision of probability-based models, UVaR helps to assesses uncertainty by incorporating expert insight through priors, with more extensive datasets. By combining a solid quantitative method with an implementation framework and cases, this book allows the reader to not only understand the solution for managing uncertain one-offs, but also to see the end-product. This is a starting point for risk practitioners to go beyond regulatory-initiated tools in order to employ their own approaches towards recognizing and managing uncertainty. Nick Firoozye is a Managing Director at Nomura International and heads a global team in cross-product derivatives research. He has many years of experience in a variety of research and trading roles in both buy-side and sell-side firms including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Citadel, Sanford Bernstein and Lehman Brothers. Known for his work in Quantitative Strategy, Nicks area of expertise ranges from asset allocation models and macro-financial forecasting to systematic and RV trading. Previously, he was Head of European Rates Strategy, and covered the Eurozone crisis, rescue packages and possible break-up, working closely with the risk management and legal teams. Dr Firoozye was an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, and holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Courant Institute, New York University. He speaks and writes frequently on financial markets and economics issues. His team was recently awarded Global Capitals Derivatives Research House of 2015, and he was co-author of one of five papers shortlisted for the 2012 Wolfson Economics Prize on the breakup of the Eurozone. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Nick Costanzino 8212 Pricing and Hedging Recovery Risk with Structural and Reduced Form Models Tuesday, January 12, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration The fixed-income literature attempts to explain credit spreads though a decomposition into different risk premia. The most commonly analyzed risk premia are default and liquidity risk. Recovery risk has not received much attention most likely because of the pervasive practice of assuming constant recovery in most credit models. However, assuming a constant recovery has two major effects. The first is we have inconsistent pricing (if recovery is a known constant, what is the price of a recovery swap) and the second is over- or underpricing the default risk portion of the credit spread. In this talk I will present recent work on isolating the recovery risk premium in corporate bond and CDS spreads using both structural and hazard rate models. This allows us to isolate the recovery risk premium from the default risk premium, as well as provide a consistent pricing framework for all recovery linked products including bonds, CDS and recovery swaps. Finally, we discuss some trading opportunities that can be exploited using framework. Nick Costanzino received his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 2006 from Brown University in Providence R.I. His thesis combined tools from pseudodifferential operators and dynamical systems to prove multidimensional stability of certain nonlinear wave structures in fluids. He later moved to the Penn State University Math Department as a Chowla Assistant Professor where he was introduced to quantitative finance and helped developed their Mathematical Finance program. After a brief tenure at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada he then moved to the finance industry working in various credit roles including risk manager for the CDS and corporate bond trading desk at Scotiabank. He is interested in all areas of quantitative finance, but particularly those which lead to improvements in understanding the credit and equity markets. Nick is currently in the Investment Analytics group at AIG in New York and is a member of RiskLab at the University of Toronto. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. External (London) 8212 International Conference on Computational Finance (ICCF2015) University of Greenwich Date and Time Registration We present a liquidity factor IML, the return on illiquid-minus-liquid stock portfolios. The IML, adjusted for the common risk factors, measures the illiquidity premium whose annual alpha is about 4 over the period 1950-2012. I then test whether the systematic risk () of IML is priced in a multi-factor CAPM. The model allows for a conditional of IML that rises with observable funding illiquidity and adverse market conditions. The conditional IML is positively and significantly priced, and remains so after controlling for the beta of illiquidity shocks. Yakov Amihud is Ira Rennert Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He is the coauthor of Market Liquidity: Asset Pricing, Risk and Crises (Cambridge University Press, 2013). His research focuses on the effects of asset liquidity on value and expected return, and on the design and evaluation of securities markets trading methods. On these topics, Amihud has done consulting work for the NYSE, AMEX, CBOE, CBOT, and other securities markets. He has published more than seventy research articles in professional journals and in books, and edited and co-edited five books on topics such as LBOs, bank MampAs, international finance, and securities market design. His research also includes the evaluation of corporate financial policies, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, objectives of corporate managers, dividend policy, and law and finance. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians SeminarXmas Dinner (London) 8212 Matthew Dixon 8212 Machine Learning in Trading: Implementing Deep Neural Networks for Financial Market Prediction on the Intel Xeon Phi Date and Time 6.30p.m. on Monday, 14 December, 2015 La Tasca, West India Quay, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AE Meetup Talk amp Dinner We invite you to our 2015 Thalesians LDN Xmas seminar amp dinner by Matthew Dixon on Implementing Deep Neural Networks for Financial Market Prediction on the Intel Xeon Phi followed by dinner at La Tasca in Canary Wharf. The presentation begins at 6.30pm, followed by dinner at 7.30pm (menu below). On Arrival - A Glass of Sangra Tradicional To Start - Tabla Espanola (to share) - Traditional Spanish cured meats with mixed olives, Manchego cheese, bread and oil. Christmas Albndigas (Madrid) - Turkey amp pork meatballs, in a rich, sherry and cranberry sauce. Pulpo Gratin Y Queso GF (Galicia) - A medley of potatoes and octopus baked in a creamy lobster sauce and gratinated with Manchego cheese. Pollo Marbella GF (Malaga) - Chicken breast, cooked with chorizo in a white wine amp cream sauce. La Tasca House Green Salad GF V (Navarra) Patatas Bravas con Alioli (Espaa) - Fried potato, with spicy tomato sauce and roasted garlic mayonnaise. Paella de Carne GF (Valencia) - With chicken breast and chorizo. Paella Verduras GF V (Valencia) - With seasonal vegetables. To Finish - Churros - Doughnut twists, served with fresh strawberries and marshmallows, plus a rich chocolate sauce Deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated their power in areas such as vision (think Google image search) and speech recognition (think Siri). Some financial firms are beginning to apply these techniques to market data and other information important for trading and investing. But training DNNs (that is, setting them to work to develop models) is extremely compute intensive. In this talk, Matthew will describe a DNN model for predicting price movements from time series data, then explain techniques that enable this model to exploit the parallel computing capacity of the Intel Xeon Phi processor in conjunction with multi-core CPUs. Matthew Dixon is a Managing Director and Head of Americas at Thalesians Ltd. He is also an Assistant Professor of Finance in the Stuart Business School at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the application of advanced computational techniques to financial modeling and data analysis especially where high performance and scalability are critical for practical application. Matthews research is currently funded by Intel Corporation. He has contributed to the R package repository and published around twenty peer-reviewed technical articles. He has taught financial econometrics, derivatives, machine learning and text mining at the University of San Francisco and held visiting appointments in CSMath at Stanford University and UC Davis. Prior to joining academia, he has held industry appointments as a quant at banks such as Lehman Brothers, the Bank for International Settlements and Barclays Capital. He chairs the workshop on computational finance at the annual SuperComputing conference and serves on the program committee of HPC and on the editorial board of the Journal of Financial Innovation. Matthew holds a MEng in Civil Engineering from Imperial College London, a MSc in Parallel and Scientific Computation (with distinction) from the University of Reading, and a PhD in Applied Math from Imperial College London. He became a chartered financial risk manager in 2014. Thalesians Panel (London) 8212 CudmoreBurroughs amp more 8212 Global macro panel Registration The structural default model of Lipton and Sepp, 2009 is generalized for a set of banks with mutual interbank liabilities whose assets are driven by correlated Levy processes with idiosyncratic and common components. The multi-dimensional problem is made tractable via a novel computational method, which generalizes the one-dimensional fractional partial differential equation method of Itkin, 2014 to the two- and three-dimensional cases. This method is unconditionally stable and of the second order of approximation in space and time in addition, for many popular Levy models it has linear complexity in each dimension. Marginal and joint survival probabilities for two and three banks with mutual liabilities are computed. The effects of mutual liabilities are discussed, and numerical examples are given to illustrate these effects. Dr. Andrey Itkin is an Adjunct Professor at NYU, Department of Risk and Financial Engineering and Director, Senior Research Associate at Bank of America. He received his PhD in physics of liquids, gases and plasma, and degree of Doctor of Science in computational molecular physics. During his academic carrier he published few books and multiple papers on chemical and theoretical physics and astrophysics, and later on computational and mathematical finance. Andrey occupied various research and managerial positions in financial industry and also is a member of multiple professional associations in finance and physics. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Robert Carver 8212 Lessons from Systematic Trading Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 21 October, 2015 Ginger Room, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK. Meetup Its my belief that successful systematic trading is not about finding some deep hidden source of alpha, but about avoiding stupid mistakes. In this talk I share some of the mistakes Ive made, and seen others make, whilst designing and managing systematic trading systems for both a multi billion hedge fund and a retail trading account. This is a wide ranging talk which provocatively questions many commonly held beliefs about the business of managing money systematically. Robert Carver is an independent systematic trader, and writer. He trades his own capital with a fully automated system of 40 futures markets, using a proprietary system written in python. Robert is the author of Systematic Trading, a forthcoming book to be published by Harriman House in October 2015. He regularly blogs on the subject of trading, finance and investment. Robert, who has bachelors and masters degrees in Economics, began his city career trading exotic derivative products for Barclays Capital. He then worked as a portfolio manager for AHL. one of the worlds largest systematic hedge funds before, during and after the global financial meltdown of 2008. Robert was responsible for the creation of AHLs fundamental cross asset global macro strategy, and then managed the funds multi billion dollar fixed income portfolio. He retired from the industry in 2013. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Dan Pirjol 8212 Can one price Eurodollar futures in the Black-Derman-Toy model Wednesday, October 14, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration Interest rates models with log-normally distributed rates in continuous time are known to display singular behavior. For example, Eurodollar futures prices are infinite in the Dothan and Black-Karasinski models, as shown in 1998 by Hogan and Weintraub. These singularities are usually assumed to disappear when the models are simulated in discrete time. Using a precise simulation of the BDT model, we demonstrate that this is true only for sufficiently low volatilities. Eurodollar futures prices explode for volatilities above a critical value. The explosion is due to contributions from a region in state space which corresponds to very large interest rates and is truncated off in usual simulation methods such as trees and finite difference methods. In the limit of a very small simulation time step the explosion appears for any volatility, and reproduces the Hogan-Weintraub singularity of the continuous time model. Dan Pirjol works in the Model Risk Group at JP Morgan, covering valuation models in commodities. Previously he was with Markit and Merrill Lynch in various roles in modeling and model risk, after doing research in theoretical high energy physics. He is interested in applications of methods from mathematical physics and probability to problems in mathematical finance. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Sance (Budapest) 8212 Taylor Spears amp Panel 8212 The Sociology of CVA A very special thanks to Attila Agod for organising this talk Our goal is to create a social convergence point for the quantitative financial professionals in Hungary with quarterly events Date and Time 7:00 p.m. on Fri 9th October, 2015 7:00 p.m. - Welcome drinks, 8:00 p.m. - Taylor Spears presentation 9:00 p.m. - Discussion panel 12.00 a.m. - Next pub Palack Borbr, Szent Gellrt sqr 3, Budapest Meetup At the 7th Thalesians Sance Taylor Spears from the Sociology Department of The University Edinburgh will introduce the evolution of Credit Valuation Adjustment (CVA) from a sociologists point of view. After Taylors talk a panel of practitioners will challenge his ideas. Members of the panel: - Andras Bohak (MSCI, Counterparty credit researcher) - Daniel Homolya (Mol Group, Financial risk management team lead) - Balazs Palosi-Nemeth (ING, Architect) - Gabor Salamon (Morgan Stanley, CVA team lead) Dr Taylor Spears is a research fellow in the Sociology of Financial Modelling at the School of Social and Political Science in the University of Edinburgh. Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Creating trend following fund: How to build a CTA interactive Python PyThalesians demo Date and Time 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, 1 October, 2015 Shark Tank, Grind Broadway, 22nd Floor, 1412 Broadway, New York, NY Meetup In this talk, we shall be discussing CTAs and giving some background about the industry. We shall give a brief overview of the types of strategies CTAs use to trade markets, creating a generic proxy for a typical CTA fund. We shall also be discussing how CTA strategies can be used to improve the risk adjusted returns of long only equity and bond investors. Later, there will also be an interactive Python demo showing how to use the PyThalesians Python code library (partially open sourced on GitHub ). Amongst other things we shall investigate the properties of intraday FX volatility, where well be accessing live market data via Bloomberg and also creating customised plots using Matplotlib. Selected Bios Saeed is the founder of Cuemacro and is a co-founder of the Thalesians. Over the past decade, Saeed Amen has developed systematic trading strategies at major investment banks including Lehman Brothers and Nomura. Independently, he is also a systematic FX trader, running a proprietary trading book trading liquid G10 FX, which has had a Sharpe ratio over 1.5 since 2013. He is also the author of Trading Thalesians: What the ancient world can teach us about trading today (Palgrave Macmillan). Thalesians Seminar (London) 8212 Stephen Pulman 8212 Multi-Dimensional Sentiment Analysis Date and Time 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 23 September, 2015 Ginger Room, Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf, London, UK. Meetup All sentiment analysis systems can deliver positive negativeneutral classifications. But there are many other useful signals in text: emotion, intent, speculation, risk, etc. This talk will present a survey of the state of the art in recognising these other dimensions of sentiment in text and describe some practical applications in finance and elsewhere. Stephen Pulman is Professor of Computational Linguistics at the Department of Computer Science, Oxford University. He is a Professorial Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has also held visiting professorships at the Institut fr Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung, University of Stuttgart and at Copenhagen Business School. He is a co-founder of TheySay Ltd. Previous positions include Professor of General Linguistics at Oxford University, Assistant Professor (Reader) at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and Director of SRI Internationals Cambridge. IAQF-Thalesians Seminar (New York) 8212 Dr. Agostino Capponi 8212 Arbitrage-Free Pricing of XVA Monday, September 21, 2015: NYU Kimmel Center. Room 914, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, NY 10012, NY Registration The recent financial crisis has highlighted the importance to account for counterparty risk and funding costs in the valuation of over-the-counter portfolios of derivatives. When managing their portfolios, traders face costs for maintaining the hedge of the position, posting collateral resources, and servicing their collateral requests. Due to the interdependencies between these operations, such costs cannot be separated and attributed to different business units (CVA, DVA and FVA desks). In this talk, we introduce a unified framework for computing the total costs, referred to as XVA, of an European style derivative transaction traded between two risky counterparties. We use no-arbitrage arguments to derive the nonlinear backward stochastic differential equations (BSDEs) associated with the portfolios which replicate long and short positions in the claim. This leads to defining buyers and sellers XVAs which in turn identify a no-arbitrage band. When borrowing and lending rates coincide, our framework recovers a generalized version of Piterbargs model. In this case, we provide a fully explicit expression for the uniquely determined price of XVA. When they differ, we derive the semi-linear partial differential equations (PDEs) associated with the non-linear BSDEs and show that they admit a unique classical solution. We use these solutions to conduct a numerical analysis showing high sensitivity of the no-arbitrage band and replicating strategies to funding spreads and collateral levels. Agostino Capponi is an assistant professor in the IEOR Department at Columbia University, where he is also a member of the Institute for Data Science and Engineering. Agostino received his Master and Ph.D. Degree in Computer Science and Applied and Computational Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, respectively in 2006 and 2009. His main research interests are in the area of networks, with a special focus on systemic risk, contagion, and control. In the context of financial networks, the outcome of his research contributes to a better understanding of risk management practices, and to assess the impact of regulatory policies aimed at controlling financial markets. He has been awarded a grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking for his research on dynamic contagion mechanisms. His work on systemic risk dynamics under central clearing done in collaboration with the Department of Treasury has obtained press coverage from major organizations such as Bloomberg and Reuters. His research has been published in top-tier journals of Financial Mathematics, Operations Research, and Engineering. His work has also been published in leading practitioner journals and invited book chapters. Agostino holds a world patent for a target tracking methodology in military networks. IAQF-Thalesians Seminars The IAQF-Thalesians Seminar Series is a joint effort on the part of the IAQF (formerly IAFE) and the Thalesians. The goal of the series is to provide a forum for the exchange of new ideas and results related to the field of quantitative finance. This goal is accomplished by hosting seminars where leading practitioners and academics present new work, and following the seminars with a reception to facilitate further interaction and discussion. The seminar series is limited to IAQF and Thalesians members only. Thalesians Seminar (San Francisco) 8212 Steven Pav - Portfolio Inference and Portfolio Overfit Date and Time amp Schedule 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, 10 September, 2015 6pm: Reception in Julias Lounge 7pm: Talk in the Members Lounge 8pm: Networking
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