04 August 1998
Nick Brown dithers on Krebs report
By FWi staff
FARMERS with TB-infected cattle with were dealt another blow last week when the Government began its summer recess without first implementing the Krebs report.
Nick Brown, the new agriculture minister, has gone to South America on Foreign-Office business, leaving farmers outraged that nothing has been done.
In answer to a Parliamentary question, Mr Brown announced that he wished to study the issue further before making any decision on the report. This is widely held to mean that it could be November before a decision is made.
However, Mr Brown did acknowledge that there was indirect but compelling evidence that badgers were a significant source of infection in cattle.
The report recommended that scientists search for a cattle vaccine. Mr Brown said preliminary work was already under way in this area.
It also called for the introduction of a culling trial in specific hot spots, but the trial is expected to take five years and farmers are angry that it hasnt already been implemented.
The National Farmers Union described the delay as disappointing and called on MAFF to publish the report of Professor Bournes expert group immediately and proceed with the trials. Prof Bournes report sets out in detail how the trials should be conducted.
“Farming families, cattle and badgers are suffering terribly as a result of this debilitating disease. This further delay will only prolong this situation for all involved,” said NFU president Ben Gill.
Government set to act on cattle TB, FWi, 31 July