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Friday, 22 August 2014

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‘Dream’ comes to an end

A FORMER farm owner has said a sad goodbye to his beloved herd of rare cattle after a rival businessman made him an offer he could not refuse.

Lakes hotelier Jonathan Denby kept his 12 pure-bred Wagyus, even after selling his High Lowscales Farm, near Millom, in January last year.

Mr Denby was determined to hold onto the valuable herd, which he bred himself using frozen embryos from Japan, where the highly sought after cattle originate.

But he has now agreed to part with his herd, which have been looked after for him by a Cartmel farmer since he sold High Lowscales.

He says he was offered a “handsome” amount of money, which cannot be revealed because of a confidentiality agreement with the buyer.

Mr Denby said: “Unbeknown to me, at the same time as I started my breeding programme, Andrew Deacon, a retired businessman in Suffolk, was also establishing a Wagyu herd.

“After seeing my herd on BBC1’s Countryfile, Andrew came to see my herd in Cartmel and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Mr Denby realised his dream of establishing the first ever pure-bred Wagyu herd in England eight years ago.

He travelled to Japan to research the cattle, famed for being the source of Kobe-style beef, the “caviar of the meat world”.

Four years ago, the first calves were born on his farm at the same time as Mr Deacon was establishing his herd.

Mr Deacon holds an exclusive contract to supply celebrity chef Raymond Blanc with Wagyu beef for his restaurants, including two-Michelin star establishment Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Mr Denby said: “Raymond Blanc is my favourite chef and Le Manoir is my favourite restaurant.

“I am absolutely delighted my cattle are going to be in very, very good hands and will be going to the best final destination. I put an awful lot of time, effort and money into the product, but the price I received means I have been able to recapture my investment in the animals. Although I’m very sad to see my animals go, this is the best possible ending to my dream.”

Have your say

A farmer rearing animals is not quite the same as producing widgets. I've always thought it must be difficult to reconcile the emotional aspects of rearing livestock (on a small scale) and sending those animals for slaughter, but that is what farmers have done for generations and this like many aspects of life are not black and white arguments, so a bit of respect for Mr Denby's dream and feelings about selling his herd. I can't help adding this claptrap: Peace man!

Posted by John Bengué on 16 April 2012 at 10:38

Wow farmer sells his cows whatever next a milkman sells milk or a baker sells bread? How's this a story who's bothered?

Posted by Jamie on 2 April 2012 at 15:11

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