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Stackyard News Feb 06

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Defra Guilty Of Half Measures On TB

The Tenant Farmers Association has reacted angrily to DEFRA’s decision to introduce a new compensation scheme based on table valuations for cattle in England affected by certain diseases.

TFA National Chairman Reg Haydon said “The tabular system of compensation is the result of Treasury pressure on DEFRA to put a brake on the costs of handling bovine TB which DEFRA has allowed to spiral out of control. DEFRA has failed to take the necessary decision to control TB in badgers resulting in more cattle having to be compulsorily slaughtered and a higher overall compensation bill. DEFRA’s inaction means that cattle farmers will continue to suffer.”

Mr Haydon will be touring Devon next week where he will take the opportunity to discuss the chronic and escalating problem of bovine TB with TFA members.

“Cattle farmers feel let down and frustrated and I am greatly concerned that the Government’s lack of backbone will lead to farmers feeling that they have no choice but to take the law into their own hands. That is something that surely we all want to avoid - it can be if only the Government would show leadership” said Mr Haydon.

“The TFA has always opposed the Government’s plans to introduce a tabular valuation system believing it to be unfair and inappropriate. However, we told DEFRA that we would be prepared to accept table valuations with specific conditions. The first was that it should deal with the issues surrounding cross breed cattle and cattle of high genetic merit which the tabular system penalises. The second was that the Government should implement, with immediate effect, a policy of culling infected badgers in hot spot areas. The Government has chosen to pay no heed to these legitimate issues clearly demonstrating that it is not interested in a partnership with the industry” said Mr Haydon.

“The TFA is gravely concerned that the current consultation on badger culling is yet another smokescreen for inaction. The Government’s own scientific advisers have told it that it cannot control bovine TB with restrictions on cattle alone - there has also got to be a wide spread cull of infected badgers in hotspot areas. The same advisers have also pointed out to the Government that some of the options proposed for culling in its consultation document have been ruled out by the science. It seems to us that the Government only listens to the science when it suits them while cattle herds and farm businesses continue to be decimated” said Mr Haydon.

link Government Lacks Leadership On Bovine TB
link TB measures too little, too late
link Nine years going no-where with the TB Forum

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Tenant Farmers Association
Tenant Farmers Association