Have your say, w/e 6 July, 2001

11 July 2001

Have your say, w/e 6 July, 2001

Travellers flout foot-and-mouth rules

A PUBLIC park next to farmland that had foot-and-mouth-infected animals is closed. We (local people) accept that and the need to protect surrounding farmland from further infection. Agriculture and tourism are the prime industries here.

Please tell me, why is it that “travellers” can break down fences, set up camp and let their dogs run around freely in this park? There is no barrier between the park and farmland.

The County Council was informed – they have done nothing, except call the Gypsy liaison officer.

What bothers me is – where did these people come from?

They were camped somewhere before last week, they obviously feel it is their right to break down fences and enter parks and anybodys fields – it seems their alleged ethnicity exempts them from being fined.

Theyll be gone in two weeks, when the eviction notice is served. And where will they go next?

These sorts of travellers, who have no respect for the law or the seriousness of foot-and-mouth, will not be fined. They have been in an infected area, they will not and have not been “dipped” – not them, their clothing, their vehicles or their animals.

They are free to spread foot-and-mouth at will, arent they? Surely the risk from such people is blatantly obvious ?

I resent completely that these people are above the law and by living in a caravan and not paying tax, they magically become an ethnic minority and so get special treatment.

I prefer my sisters description of these travellers who are, on the whole, not of Gypsy origin – “Pikey, Pikey, do as you Likey”.

There are people who live and work normally and responsibly, who are of the true Gypsy blood and, because they live in a house, they are no longer an
ethnic minority. The world is going mad!

I have looked everywhere for advice on who to contact about this kind of flouting of restrictions, but can find nothing.

The Police say nothing, the Council says nothing, DEFRA says nothing – nor the NFU. Anybody any ideas?



Callous incompetence in the cull

READERS will sympathise with Vicky and Richard Anderson (Heartbreak of a bungled cull, FWi Open Forum).

Most working farmers, commercial or otherwise, together with their families, have a deep affection for the animals they have bred and reared.

To see them treated in this way is deeply offensive and insulting in every way.

It was ingrained into me as a small child that we have a responsibility to see that all animals must be properly cared for and treated kindly from birth, even if they are going to be slaughtered.

What has happened to RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations?

Vicky and Richards experience only comfirms what some of us have known for some years; that MAFF and its staff are incompetent in every way.

Perhaps this is expressing it too kindly. Will moving MAFF to a bigger department and giving it a new name make any difference?

Paul Wyatt

Grain prices out of kilter

WHAT is happening to grain prices? They seem to be slipping back to 2000 harvest levels, but why?

The HGCA is predicting a 13-million-tonne wheat harvest when it will be lucky to do 11m. Has nobody noticed the hot weather?

The sand land that did get drilled last autumn has already started to burn up. The heavy land drilled struggled in a cold, wet spring, followed by immediate hot sunshine, leaving a thin plant stand and a bleak harvest.

With no real regular rain since the begining of May, I think its about time harvest prices increased.

True, there are some pretty good-looking crops out there, but they are few and far between.

Maybe if our journal-writing farmer friends stopped saying how well their crops looked and, when harvested, they do an “OK” yield of only 4.8t/acre, we might talk the grain traders into abit more of a sweat.


Wheres the milk going?

OUR bed-and-breakfast business has been getting about one booking a month since the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Thats hardly enough income to buy the groceries, but our last guests did have an interesting bit of news that I would like to know more about.

Over breakfast one guest received a call on his mobile and, since the ensuing conversation was in Spanish, I correctly guessed that the call was from Spain.

As the call became rather lengthy I asked his English brother-in-law if the call was business or pleasure as it must have been a pricey call.

He told me it was a business call and at the other end of the phone was the mans son who was looking after the family dairy wholesalers.

When the call ended, I was asked about the UK milk shortage!

I said I hadnt heard of one. Apparently his company is shipping tankerloads of milk to Southampton.

Does anyone else know about this?

Adrian Hepworth

Looking for somewhere to shoot

I AM a member of British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and I would like the
opportunity to shoot vermin using my .22 air rifle.

As a member of BASC I hold 5 million indemnity insurance and have a responsible and mature attitude towards gun use and others property. I would of course respect all livestock and boundaries.

I would be grateful if any landowners who would not mind me shooting on their land, at their convenience, would contact me using the e-mail address provided.

I would be happy to provide my insurance certificate and character references if required.

Stewart Greenwood

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