Permission granted to build animal welfare building on Pembrokeshire dairy farm

RETROSPECTIVE plans for an animal welfare building on one of Pembrokeshire’s largest dairy farms have been given the go-ahead by county planners.

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Following a site visit by a council enforcement officer late last year, Hugh James of MD James and Sons sought retrospective permission for a hoof trimming building at 1,800 dairy herd Langdon Mill Farm, near Jeffreyston, south Pembrokeshire.

The building works were completed in February 2022; the council inviting the applicant to submit a planning application to regularise the current breach of planning control, agent Reading Agricultural Consultants Ltd said in its report to planners.

“The holding currently has a milking herd of approximately 1,800 cows, which are housed indoors for the majority of the year, with dry cows and heifers grazed outdoors when weather and soil conditions permit,” the application said.

The agent said the site has seen significant investment in the past decade, and currently employs 21 full-time (including the applicant), and three part-time staff.

In relation to the retrospective application, the report for planners said: “Regular foot trimming in dairy cows forms an essential part of a farm’s lameness control plan, as overgrown hoofs can cause problems with weight distribution, leading to non-infectious lesions and, ultimately, lameness.”

The application stated that hoof trimming is normally undertaken by visiting contractors, but the farm’s expansion has made this more difficult.

“Although these facilities were adequate when the farm had fewer cattle, the expansion in cow numbers over the past 10 years has meant that the hoof trimmer does not have adequate time to trim the numbers of cows in the current available space. Hoof trimming would often coincide with visits by the vet, who would require the handling facilities for routine inspections of cows as well as the more intensive bovine TB testing periods.

“The new building allows the hoof trimmer to process the cows in a more efficient manner in a covered area, freeing up the handing facilities in the dairy building for use exclusively by the vet.”

The application, supported by Kilgetty/Begelly Community Council was conditionally approved by planning officers under delegated powers.

 

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