Foot-and-mouth vaccination could cripple livestock farmers – NFU Cymru

VACCINATING ANIMALS in the event of another foot-and-mouth outbreak could leave individual Welsh livestock farmers financially crippled, NFU Cymru has warned.

The warning was included in the union’s response to a consultation on transposing the EU’s F&M directive into domestic legislation. The consultation closes on Sept 2.

The union said it had a number of concerns with the proposed vaccination strategy.

Its first concern was that meat from vaccinated animals would not be able to go into the food chain unless it was heat treated, deboned and matured.

NFU Cymru said it had grave doubts as to whether there would be sufficient capacity in Wales to do this. It also suggested that it would clearly add to production costs at a time when the market price of vaccinated meat was likely to be heavily discounted.

Another concern raised was that new directive also bans the collection and transportation of milk for sampling for milk hygiene purposes in laboratories not authorised to test for F&M.

The union said this would give rise to practical problems for those companies located in Wales where there are currently no such laboratories. 

“NFU Cymru is seriously concerned at the consequential losses that will be sustained by the livestock sectors in Wales in the event of the vaccination route being pursued,” said deputy president Dai Davies.