Stakeholders unite in call on DEFRA to tackle TB

Led by the NFU, all of the major farming and veterinary organisations in the UK have presented a joint statement to DEFRA detailing how the government could tackle the burden of bovine tuberculosis.

At a meeting last Thursday (24 August) the group agreed a statement calling for a cull of badger populations in areas badly affected by TB.  The statement has now been delivered to junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw.

The statement calls on government to issue licences to farmers allowing the use of carbon monoxide gas to cull badgers on their property.  A suitably trained individual would be employed to carry out the task and the farmer would bare the cost of employing them.  
Meurig Raymond, NFU deputy president, said: “We’ve done all we can here. We’ve agreed a position which will involve farmers continuing to put up with cost and inconvenience, but as part of a partnership approach with government.
“This agreement has now been issued to the minister, Ben Bradshaw. This places the ball very firmly in the government’s court. We’re prepared to play our part, are they prepared to play theirs?”

For more details see Friday’s (1 September) issue of Farmers Weekly.

Statement agreed by:

Holstein UK
Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers      
Country Land and Business Association
Central Association of Agricultural Valuers   
Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors
NFU Cymru
Tenant Farmers Association
National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
Livestock Auctioneers Association                              
National Beef Association
Bill Madders (dairy farmer)                                                         
John Gallagher (veterinary scientist)

In addition: Members of the British Veterinary Association were present and approved the statement, but formal agreement by their organisations would have to be ratified by their Councils.