4 April 1997

Pre-OTMS slaughters unjustly penalised – MP

FARMERS who had casualty slaughtered after Mar 20 but before the introduction of over-30-month scheme are being unjustly penalised, according to Lib Dem agriculture spokesman Paul Tyler.

They have received no compensation and long negotiations with MAFF have failed to produce a satisfactory settlement, he says.

Farmers are now rightly suspicious that MAFF is deliberately dragging out the talks in order to take them past the May anniversary of the introduction of OTMS in England and Wales. And that would make a complaint to the parliamentary ombudsman inoperative, adds Mr Tyler.

"I am writing to Douglas Hogg to seek a guarantee that the ministry will come up with a solution well before the year is up. If he cannot give me that promise, I have undertaken to take a test case to the ombudsman myself."