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Stackyard News Mar 07

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    The Cost of Sharing Animal Health Responsibility

RABDF has opposed Government’s proposals to introduce Responsibility and Cost Sharing of animal health and welfare saying that it would be ‘inconceivable’ for the dairy sector to adopt the measures in the current financial climate and while bTB control remains unresolved. However, the association realises that in the long term, the industry should be prepared to enter negotiations with Government.

RABDF chairman Lyndon Edwards.

RABDF chairman Lyndon Edwards

“We believe to it to be totally inconceivable for the dairy industry to adopt cost sharing while farmers continue to lose money on every litre of milk they produce. The sector is currently in an unsustainable predicament, and is unable to cope with the imposition of any additional costs.” says RABDF’s chairman, Lyndon Edwards, summarizing the association’s response to Defra’s consultation on Government’s proposals for the costs of livestock health and welfare to be appropriately balanced between industry and taxpayer.

Furthermore, RABDF says it cannot agree to the adoption of the Responsibility and Cost Sharing proposals until the Government resolves the bTB situation. “Farmers cannot be expected to carry the cost of the eradication of bTB when the Government has failed to be sufficiently proactive at implementing essential control measures, thereby allowing the disease to escalate,” says Lyndon. “This has not only affected the viability of the industry, but among other things has had a detrimental effect on industry’s confidence and trust in the Government, which consequentially will inhibit industry’s willingness to formulate a partnership.”

He adds: “For the Responsibility and Cost Sharing principles to ever to be successful, a genuine partnership with joint discussion and joint decision making must be formulated. We believe it is essential that industry and Government takes time in investigating the potential adoption of Responsibility and Cost Sharing. A careful and considered approach must be taken and the evolution of the concept must not be rushed or forced. ”

link State Veterinary Service to become Animal Health
link Lyndon Edwards is new RABDF chairman
link APPG on Dairy Farming 2006 Annual Report

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