14 February 1997

FABBL a farce, claims member

FARM Assured British Beef and Lamb has been condemned as a farce by a leading Northants sheep farmer.

FABBL member John Matts, Creaton, Northants, told a Royal Agricultural Societies conference in Edinburgh, that he had never been inspected.

"I do not know anyone who has. I also know of one farmer accepted into the scheme one week who had his enterprise severely criticised by a local welfare officer the following week," said Mr Matts.

"FABBL is a farce. It cannot serve the industry unless it has teeth. People must be thrown out. The public must see a system where standards are improving all the time. There must be proper standards, properly policed."

Mr Matts, who has 2500 ewes, praised the Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association for its much tighter system of inspections. But called on SQBLA to take a lead in sorting out sheep scab by adding proper scab control to its list of requirements. "Farmers like me must be able to buy ewe lambs that are guaranteed free of scab and tups that have been scrapie monitored," he said. &#42