July 23 2008 ~ Non-participation in cost-sharing. Non participation on "TB Partnership" New call for a truly independent body on Animal Health matters
An indication - if any were needed- of how far the gulf has widened between farmers and the government can be seen in this NFU release which reports that an "... industry stakeholder group has put its name to an eight-point statement of agreement following the non-decision announced by the Secretary of State, Hilary Benn, on dealing with bTB......Included in the eight points is a call for an independent body to take on the future decision making for animal health; a commitment of non-participation in the TB Partnership Group as announced by the Secretary of State; and an industry policy of non-participation in discussions on cost sharing and responsibility on animal health and welfare issues.."
Click here for the 8 points of the industry wide stakeholder group - while today's EFRA report's main points can be seen here
The eight-point statement of agreement:
1. The groups represented at the meeting reaffirm their commitment to do everything possible to contain and eradicate bovine TB.
2. We demand that the government adopts a comprehensive programme to contain and ultimately eradicate this disease.
3. As part of this programme, the government must issue licences for the culling of wildlife as a disease control measure.
4. We will support legal action to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision that he would not issue such licences for TB control.
5. We will not participate in the TB Partnership Group announced by the Secretary of State unless it can set its own agenda; is able to examine all aspects of the issue; and can make its own recommendations to the Secretary of State.
6. We urge the government to invite the Commission TB Task Force to England to make recommendations on a comprehensive eradication plan.
7. We will urgently explore ways that future animal health decisions could be taken by an independent body.
8. We will not participate in discussions on responsibility sharing and will resist any attempts by government to put extra costs on the industry in the context of cost sharing on animal health and welfare issues.