UFU Set For Animal Health Talks With DEFRA

by 5m Editor
22 June 2007, at 10:12am

UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union will attend crunch talks next week with DEFRA, to discuss Government proposals that farmers should contribute to animal health costs. UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said there could be no deal on animal health cost sharing proposals unless farmers were given a proper input into animal health policy making.

Kenneth Sharkey said; “This is a very important meeting with DEFRA and these negotiations have reached a very important moment. DEFRA’s proposals so far during this process would result in farmers contributing to the costs of animal health control, but without any say in animal health policy. This is not acceptable to the industry. Just look at the Governments reluctance to deal effectively with Bovine TB. How could we sign up to sharing the cost of TB when there is no effective strategy in place to deal with it, and we are being given no say in future changes to policy”.

Kenneth Sharkey added; “DEFRA are currently not proposing a partnership approach with the industry. This must be tabled, otherwise agreement will not be reached. I will not ask farmers to bear another financial burden if it won’t deliver benefits to the industry”.

The UFU will also re-iterate to DEFRA that farmers already contribute significantly to disease control both in terms of time, such as herd testing, and direct costs.

5m Editor