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Stackyard News Jan 07

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    Farmers to question DEFRA minister over bovine TB fears

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dairy Farmers and MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, Daniel Kawczynski, has arranged a face to face meeting between farmers and Government Minister Ben Bradshaw MP from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Daniel Kawczynski

Daniel Kawczynski
The delegation will be meeting Mr Bradshaw, the Minister of State for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare, at the Minister's offices in Smith Square, London on Thursday 18th January 2007 at 11.00am. Members of the delegation include West Midlands farmers Andrew Bebb, Adrian Joynt and Chris Williamson and vet Tim O'Sullivan.

In the face of Government claims that cases of bovine tuberculosis have been declining in England over the past year, there has been an increase of 21% in TB cases in Shropshire.

"I have been contacted by many local farmers who are deeply concerned about the threat from this disease to their livelihoods," explained Mr Kawczynski, "and they do not understand why the Government is seemingly doing so little to tackle this serious issue.

"I have arranged this opportunity for farmers - and an expert vet - to speak directly with the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, so they can challenge him about the Government's lack of action."

The farmers want to know whether the Government is considering a cull of badgers, who are believed by many to be responsible for the transmission of TB to cattle, and they want to know more about methods that would be adopted for such a cull. There is also anecdotal evidence that council workers are not routinely testing badgers killed on roads and railway lines for TB and the farmers want to establish what the Government's rules on the testing of badgers is.

Shropshire farmer, Mr Andrew Bebb, commented, "How is it that we do not seem capable of accepting tried and tested practices of disease control? It occurred during the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease and it is happening again with bovine TB."

There is also concern from the farming community that Government compensation for cattle that test positive for bovine TB is inadequate, particular for pedigree and organic herds, leaving farms hit by TB struggling to stay solvent.


Farmers Challenge Government Minister About Bovine TB 24/01/07
MP Daniel Kawczynski arranged for three farmers and a veterinary expert to speak in person with Government Minister Ben Bradshaw MP about their worries about bovine tuberculosis.

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