Labour force ready and waiting to help
Supplying men and
equipment is becoming
difficult for UK machinery
rings as the foot-and-mouth
disease continues to
plague their members.
Andy Moore reports
MAFF should take advantage of labour available through machinery rings to help clean up infected farms, says Stephen Roberson, development officer for the Machinery Ring Association.
"There are 27 machinery rings in the UK which have about 2000 registered workers," he says. "Many of the workers are short of work at this time of year and fighting the disease would be a valuable contribution."
Mr Roberson says MAFF has been reluctant to source staff from machinery rings because of the risk of workers travelling to other farms and spreading the disease.
Workers could be employed for tasks such as digging pyres and disinfecting buildings and machinery, says Mr Roberson.
He also believes machinery rings could play a part in providing equipment for handling and disposing of culled livestock.
Until now, MAFF has appointed subcontractors for disinfecting infected farms.
"Utilising labour and equipment from machinery rings makes sense because workers are on hand and used to working with farmers," says Mr Roberson.
Stephen Roberson: "Machinery rings are a valuable source of labour and equipment for fighting the foot-and-mouth disease."