Badger trial is too late for TBvictims

21 August 1998

Badger trial is too late for TBvictims

A YOUNG farming family, which expects to lose its entire dairy herd to TB by the end of the year, found little comfort in this weeks MAFF announcement that badger control trials are to go ahead.

Tim and Sarah Pain, who milked 80 cows at Old Court Farm, Tortworth, Glos, at the start of the year, have had their herd reduced to 48 because of TB. Another 20 cows are due to be slaughtered next month and they believe the governments trials will do nothing to save their business, even if their area is eventually included in badger control experiments.

Too little

"Its too little, too late," said Mrs Pain. "All I can say is we will definitely not be milking by the end of the year."

The couple organised a meeting last Thursday. Those present, who included fellow farmers, local NFU officials, MPs and badger expert Stephen Harris, decided that much more had to be done. And this weeks announcement has hardened Mrs Pains resolve.

The meeting decided two points of action that could be implemented immediately to help give a clearer picture of TB throughout the country.

The first was recommended by local Lib-Dem MP Steven Webb. He said: "I want every person in the country affected by TB to pick up the phone today, not write a letter, but use the phone and tell your own MP if you have a problem. In my constituency there are 20 families whose farms are closed down to TB, yet I only know of three. I want to hear from the rest as soon as possible."

Mrs Pain suggested the second. She wants all farmers with TB problems in their herd to call her to discuss the hardship that they are facing.

"We need to know more about the people who are suffering, and we need to help each other through this time. There are a lot of people suffering in silence out there," she said.

Mrs Pain added that she hoped junior farm minister Jeff Rooker would visit the farm to see for himself how devastating it was for a family to have its livelihood stripped before its eyes.

The Pains can be contacted on 01454-260227 or 01453-542593. &#42

See more