18 May 2001
Scaled-down dairy event to go ahead

By Alistair Driver

THE UKs biggest event for dairy farmers will go ahead in September, albeit as a one-day event and possibly without any cattle present.

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has announced that this years Dairy Event will take place on September 19.

Its decision to proceed with show at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, reflects a desire to return to normal after foot-and-mouth.

But the show will last just one day rather than the usual two and no decision has yet been made whether cattle will be present.

RABDF will decide at the end of June if allowing cattle to the show is worth the risk.

We have taken many factors into account and consulted with the trade and industry bodies in making our decision, said RABDF event manager Richard Evans.

He stressed that the event will form an important part of the recovery process for the industry.

But we are acutely aware that many of our exhibitors, as well as dairy farmers, have suffered greatly as a result of the foot-and-mouth crisis, he said.

Explaining the decision to make it a one-day show, Mr Evans said many businesses have been placed under huge financial pressure.

He suggested exhibitors will be more likely to participate if they can save money by exhibiting on just one day.

We are putting together plans for new technical exhibits that concentrate on how the industry looks ahead in the post foot-and-mouth period, he said.

Mr Evans stressed that organisers will not be complacent in the face of declining foot-and-mouth numbers.

It will ensure the strictest biosecurity measures are implemented.

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