A SUBSIDISED scheme that could save farmers significant money and time in the animal post-mortem process has been set up in Dumfries and Galloway.

SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, part of Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), has established a pilot carcase collection service that could eventually be rolled out into other parts of the country.

Running until at least the end of March, the initial trial is using Scottish Government funding to offer a fixed-price service to farmers with a "DG" postcode.

It is designed to increase accessibility to SAC Consulting's subsidised farm animal post-mortem service, particularly for farmers more remote from the Dumfries Disease Surveillance Centre, who could potentially face round-trips of more than four hours.

Regardless of the farm's distance to the Centre, the price of uplifting a single animal is £70, rising to £80 for two animals and £90 for three. A bag of small carcases (for example: lambs or abortion material) weighing up to 25kg will be considered a "single" animal.

The collection and delivery fee does not include the costs of the post-mortem investigation or carcase disposal.

The pilot scheme is operated by Dundas Chemical Company. The aim is to have same-day delivery for calls received by 9.30am, or next-day delivery whenever possible. If this is not possible, farmers will be informed within half an hour of the request.

To make use of the service, farmers must be a member of the National Fallen Stock Company. They should also discuss the case with their vet to check whether a post-mortem is advised, and to exclude the risk of any notifiable disease.

To request an uplift, farmers should call 03300 557 526.

* Meanwhile, Scotland's Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, has issued a Code of Practice to be followed by landowners, tenant farmers and land agents.

Mr McIntosh said: "This code of practice is intended to help provide a route for landlords and tenants to come to agreement about where the responsibility lies in maintaining agricultural holdings in good condition in order for the holding to be efficiently farmed."

The Code of Practice for the Maintenance of the Condition of Tenanted Agricultural Holdings can be found on the Land Commission's website.

Market round-up

Lawrie & Symington Ltd sold 345 store heifers in Lanark on Tuesday to a top of 240.4p per kg and an average of 212.3p (-2.9p on the fortnight), while 388 store, beef-bred bullocks peaked at 271.7p and levelled at 219.7p (-2.6p). Seventy store, dairy-bred bullocks sold to 198.3p and averaged 147.6p (-6.5p).