JOURNAL : Farmers Weekly
SUBJECT : TB Smokescreen
AUTHOR : News
SECTION : News
ISSUE DATE : 13/09/06
PAGE NUMBER : 10
COPYRIGHT : Free Reuse
TEXT: tb smokescreen
NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond accused DEFRA secretary David Miliband of hiding behind this year’s falls in bovine TB levels to stave off having to make a decision on how to contain the disease.
The drop in incidence might suggest the situation was improving, but Mr Raymond was convinced it was just a temporary change. Recent figures showed the disease was catching up with previous year’s figures again.
A number of factors explained the lower numbers earlier this year, he told the council, including the fact that a new Dutch test was being used and more older cattle had been culled last autumn as the over-30-months scheme drew to a close.
Mr Raymond also suggested that there was some badger culling going on in certain parts of the country by desperate people. This was “regrettable” as it was not controlled, he added.
Meanwhile, the NFU remained totally committed to resisting pre-movement testing of cattle over six weeks old and to challenging the use of compensation tables for culled animals.
The introduction of pre-movement testing next March would cost anything between £10 and £40 a head and would destroy livestock farming in certain parts of the country, said Mr Raymond. “I fear for the livestock industry and the farming families involved.”
The deputy president also revealed that the NFU was hoping to hear the result of a judicial review into a possible legal challenge on compensation tables before the end of the year.