Cattle service site under further fire

8 May 1998

Cattle service site under further fire

THE decision to site the British Cattle Movement Service at Workington, Cumbria, came under increased criticism this week at the agriculture select committee, as Richard Packer permanent secretary for MAFF admitted the site was chosen before having a cost benefit analysis done.

Mr Packer who is the accounting officer for MAFF was decidedly uncomfortable when asked why Workington was chosen and said it was not appropriate to comment when asked for an explanation.

Shadow farm minister Michael Jack is puzzled by the choice of site which is only three miles from farm minister Jack Cunninghams Copeland constituency.

And he believes that the £10 charge a passport, is too high for farmers to pay – particularly as he estimates MAFF will make around £200m profit from the site in the next 15 years.

Mr Jack also wants to know why National Milk Records and the Holstein Friesian Society, who expressed an interest in operating the movement scheme, were not invited to make a bid for it.

"What I want to know is whether Workington is the right place. And is it the best decision to have the service located there on behalf of farmers?"

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