All of the major farming organisations met last Thursday to agree
a common position on the actions needed to tackle Bovine TB.
A seven point statement was agreed by the stakeholder group at a
meeting hosted by the NFU. The statement has now been delivered to
Meurig Raymond, deputy president of the NFU, said: “We’ve
done all we can here. We’ve agreed a position which will involve
farmers continuing to put up with cost and inconvenience, but as part
of a partnership approach with government.
“This agreement has now been issued to the minister, Ben Bradshaw.
This places the ball very firmly in the Government’s court.
We’re prepared to play our part, are they prepared to play theirs?”
The Points of Agreement from the meeting:
1. All the organisations represented committed themselves to doing
everything possible to contain and eradicate bovine TB.
2. Industry participation in a badger culling programme can only
be in the context of a genuine partnership with Government, involving
their providing overt facilitation, mapping, monitoring, carcase disposal
and other support.
3. TB Control Strategy Groups should be set up, aligned with DVM
areas, involving farmers, vets, the SVS and other stakeholders to
determine overall strategy for their area, to advise on the delineation
of control areas and facilitate the creation of local TB management
4. Culling to be carried out by trained contractors engaged by TB
management groups using cage traps and shooting in the short-term,
and CO (carbon monoxide) gassing and, possibly, stop snaring, when
these methods are approved.
5. Under Defra licences, culling to be focused in the first instance
on disease hotspots within the framework of larger control areas,
in most cases of at least 300 sq km, ideally bounded by hard physical
6. The industry and Government to work together to develop a strategy
that will allow healthy badgers and cattle to co-exist post-clearance.
Full support to be given to the ongoing development of vaccines.
7. All the organisations represented committed themselves to encourage
their membership to co-operate with a culling strategy as outlined
above, and in a programme of public information focused on the vital
importance of controlling the disease.
Statement agreed by:
NFU England & Wales
Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
Tenant Farmers Association
National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
Livestock Auctioneers Association
National Beef Association
Bill Madders (dairy farmer)
John Gallagher (veterinary scientist)
In addition: members of the British Veterinary Association were
present and approved the statement, but formal agreement by their
organisations would have to be ratified by their Councils.
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