Farmers and auctioneers have denounced the Government's decision
to press ahead with pre-movement testing of cattle aged 15 months
and over, leaving farms in one and two year testing interval parishes,
as from Monday, March 27.
In a joint statement, NFU deputy president, Meurig Raymond, and
LAA chairman, Robert Whitelock, said that the decision was premature
and was bound to cause serious disruption to the marketing of cattle
at a time when the industry was already under huge pressure.
The statement continues: "We deplore this decision. We have
repeatedly requested Defra to postpone implementation until the
rules governing procedures at markets have been clarified and understood
and sufficient exempt finishing units have been licensed.
"Livestock auctioneers will, of course, do their level best
to minimise inconvenience to buyers and sellers, but it is deeply
unsatisfactory that they should have been placed in this position."
Mr. Raymond added, for the NFU, that negotiations were continuing
with the Government to ease some of the burden on farmers by paying
the cost of carrying out the tests.
Both organisations will continue to seek workable outcomes to
the many practical issues that remain to be resolved.
Badger Trust welcomes pre-movement testing, but more must be done
challenged to produce sound TB science
call for humane badger culling