22 December 1998
Cattle association falls victim to coup
By FWi staff
THE National Cattle Association has gone into voluntary liquidation after an internal coup by disgruntled beef farmers.
Members of the association at an emergency general meeting yesterday (Monday) voted by 247 to 35 to wind up the organisation and appoint a liquidator.
The organisation had tried over recent years to represent the conflicting interests of both dairy and beef farmers.
But it found difficulty doing so, largely because of the upheaval caused by the BSE crisis.
Beef farmers, who formed the majority of members, felt the organisation was failing to represent their interests at the expense of dairy members.
At the same time, it became increasingly apparent that dairy producers were being put off joining because they were afraid of being outnumbered.
Only one dairy breed organisation, the Holstein Friesian Society, was a fully paid-up dairy-sector member this year.
Billy Kilpatrick, NCA chairman, said the end of the association was a sad day for the cattle industry at a time when farmers needed to co-operate.
“The NCA board agreed to the wind up unanimously … because the dairy breed representatives knew they would be outvoted,” he said.
Many of the associations former beef-farmer members are now likely to join the National Beef Association, which was incorporated as a company earlier this month.
Robert Robinson, NBA chairman, said: “It was obvious that the mix of beef and dairy interests made it difficult for the beef sector to pursue its own policies.”
The dairy breed societies have voted to form their own federation, which hopes to act as an umbrella group to the dairy sector.
The news comes less than a week after the Holstein Friesian Society and the British Holstein Society announced a merger to create a new organisation.
The new society, called Holstein UK & Ireland, will be officially constituted on 1 January next year and publicly launched a few weeks later.