Digging out UK's livestock

UK farmers are scrambling to rescue any livestock that has survived this past week's heavy snowfall

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    These lambs are some of the lucky ones, but thousands of cattle and sheep are already feared to have died. [AFP]
    These lambs are some of the lucky ones, but thousands of cattle and sheep are already feared to have died. [AFP]

    The snow may have stopped, but the threat to the UK’s livestock is still very great.

    The unprecedented snow storm that dropped 20-40cm of snow at the end of last week also caused that snow to drift to heights of up to five metres in some locations.

    Now that the power is returning and the roads have begun to be cleared, the main focus in the aftermath of the storm is the stranded livestock.

    It is estimated that thousands of animals, mostly sheep, are feared dead across northern parts of the UK. Many of them are believed to be buried underneath deep piles of snow.

    At first signs of the snow tapering off, farmers began the search for their flocks. While some have been saved, hundreds of sheep and new born lambs have been found frozen to death beneath the snow drifts.

    Many of the flocks that are still together are completely inaccessible to the farmers because roads are blocked by the snow. On Wednesday a Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter began dropping feed to thousands of animals that were stranded in Northern Ireland.

    In the coming days temperatures are expected to stay well below average. Snow that is already on the ground will only melt slightly during the daytime hours. More snow, while not as heavy as this past weekend, is expected to fall across Scotland and the Moors of northern England.

     

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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