12 October 2001


&#8226 TERROR weapons, including biological and chemical agents, could be smuggled into the UK in illegally imported meat, president of the British Veterinary Association, David Tyson has warned. Mr Tyson recommended a review of import controls to prevent terrorists exploiting what he regards as weak import controls.

&#8226 GENETICALLY modified crops are probably safer than conventional plants and foods, the EU Commission declared this week. Publishing the findings of some 81 Brussels-funded research projects, conducted by over 400 scientific teams throughout the EU over the past 15 years, the commission said it had failed to find any new risks to human health or the environment.

&#8226 THE chair of the Health and Safety Executive has described 53 deaths in agriculture last year as disgraceful and claimed it shows the industry is not doing enough to stop fatalities. Bill Callaghan made the damning remarks after a two-day fact-finding mission into agriculture which involved visiting farms to speak to farmers and their employees. "The sharp increase in deaths last year – from 44 to 53 – shows that the industry is simply not doing enough to prevent this tragic loss of life."

&#8226 AN agricultural lecturer who persuaded his students to use the Internet to complete coursework when F&M prevented them from leaving their homes has been awarded a £1000 prize and a decorative plaque for his ingenuity. John Whalley, who teaches at Bishop Burton College, East Yorks, was named eTutor of the Year in a competition sponsored by the Times Higher Education Supplement and the Learning and Teaching Support Network.

&#8226 FARMERS frustrated by licensing delays at North Yorkshire trading standards call centre have been urged not to be abusive towards staff after three operators walked out in protest. The centre has been deluged by nearly 2000 calls from farmers desperate to move animals trapped by F&M restrictions. Stewart Houston, the National Pig Associations producer group chairman, said some had been abusive and called for calm.

&#8226 A WEST Yorkshire farmer who was sentenced to six months in prison in 1999 for being cruel to his animals has been jailed again after breaking a lifetime ban on keeping livestock. David Holmes, 45, of Hen Holme Lane, Silsden, pleaded guilty at Bingley Magistrates Court of failing to comply with the ban and was sentenced to another five months imprisonment. &#42

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