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Here is your Smallholders Online newsletter no. 129



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 This is a special one-item issue to bring you Pat Gardiner's media release below. For the background details, click on the link to his website and read the letters.





9 July 2004


Britain expects to lose the "Disease Free Status" that

allows live sheep to be shipped overseas for slaughter.


"Disease Free Status" is awarded according to the stringent European
Commission requirement of random testing for diseases such as Brucella

But Britainís farmers have discovered that Britainís State Veterinary
Service have no legal right to enforce testing and many are refusing to
co-operate, thus frustrating the European Union conditions for allowing the
controversial export trade.

Small farmers are resisting massive pressure from Government officials to
co-operate on a voluntary basis.

The Government has recognised that random testing of a reducing subset of
self-selected volunteers is not the same as random testing of the national
flock and does not meet European Union rules.

Claiming intimidation, one Norfolk smallholder, Pat Gardiner, insisted

"If Parliament had intended that Defra should be able to force co-operation,
they would have made testing a legal requirement. They did not do so.

If the Defra vets try to bully us again on behalf of Brussels, we will call
the police. We only have two ewes and yet have still been selected twice in
the last four years.

Live exports are a nasty dirty trade designed to fill the pockets of
livestock traders here and on the Continent. Most small farmers and
smallholders seem to feel the same and are unwilling to become involved.

The RSPCA ought to be exposing this scam, but just as during Foot and Mouth,
they have failed to tackle obvious cruelty protected by Government."


Note for editors: Transcripts of supporting documents may be accessed on the
following web address:

Originals are available for inspection by arrangement.

Further information is available to bona fide journalists.

In the first instance, please email to arrange an interview, either in
person or by telephone.


Regards Pat Gardiner



From A & R