The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has acknowledged the TB Eradication Group of England report’s recommendations in principle, however it argues that they will not bring any immediate solutions to tackling the disease.
“TB eradication will not happen overnight, it’s going to be a lengthy struggle and will require some patience, yet we have started to move along the right tracks in terms of government’s attitude toward farmers,” says RABDF chairman, Lyndon Edwards. “Introducing TB advisers to help and guide those with affected herds, together with extending short interval tests should help farmers to deal with TB more acceptably. Furthermore, we welcome the proposed provision of a dispersal sale option for owners of TB breakdown herds seeking to quit the industry.
“However, we continue to believe that the targeted removal of infected wildlife would be a far greater step in the right direction and would help us achieve eradication with much greater ease. The Welsh approach provides an ideal blueprint; its positive approach towards eradication rather than control should provide an inspiration to English Ministers.”
He adds: “We hope that the TB Eradication Group’s industry representatives have ensured that government is fully aware that the Welsh Assembly’s head-on approach is the only way of achieving eradication. With opposition parties’ policies seeming to point towards a targeted cull, then we remain optimistic that eventually we may have real action on the disease. In the meantime we also hope that any changes to the testing regime in infected areas does not compromise vets’ responsibilities and that more of their already scarce time is not tied up with TB testing.”
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