NFU Rallies Support Against Cost Sharing

UK - The NFU on Tuesday issued a rallying call to livestock farmers to voice their feelings on the Government's plans to transfer millions of pounds of the cost of dealing with animal disease outbreaks to the sector and warned the industry was in such a precarious financial position it could not contemplate having further costs imposed on it.
calendar icon 12 December 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

"To suggest this idea now, at a time when we are still picking up the pieces from foot and mouth and bluetongue, is unbelievably insensitive"
NFU President Peter Kendall

Defra has today begun an 18-week process of discussion with interested parties about the proposals and NFU President Peter Kendall said it was vital as many farmers as possible registered their views so Defra was fully aware of the strength of opposition to the plans.

Mr Kendall said: "This is one of the most important issues the industry has had to face for a long time and to suggest this idea now, at a time when we are still picking up the pieces from foot and mouth and bluetongue, is unbelievably insensitive and shows very poor judgement on the Government's behalf. We have a wounded industry at the moment and Defra is just rubbing salt into that wound.

"As the joint industry statement said last week, this is a very complex issue and we need time to discuss it properly. It is unfortunate that Defra feels the need to go ahead with this consultation before the Secretary of State has responded to the statement.

"We do recognise the tight budget controls that have been imposed on Defra by the Treasury. However, the industry cannot make up the shortfall - we also have very tight budgets and many of the products from the livestock sector at the moment are being sold below the cost of production. To suggest we should pick up further costs from the government is just plainly out of the question.

"We are prepared to help Defra review its policy areas on animal health and welfare and look for savings and this is where responsibility sharing comes in. We firmly believe that if we worked together on these issues we could find savings for Defra, the livestock sector and the tax payer.

"This is a critically important subject and I hope that farmers across England will respond to the Defra consultation document and make their views known."

Further Reading

       - Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
       - Get more information by visiting our Foot and Mouth page and our        Bluetongue page.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.