Last Monday's meeting of farmers at Builth Wells drew
an attendance of approximately 800.
The meeting was chaired by the Welsh NFU; also in attendance were
chief DEFRA vet for Wales, Tony Edwards and Gareth
Jones representing the Welsh Office. Rural Affairs
Minister Carwyn Jones, who was expected to attend,
thought better of it (valued his skin too much!) which
went down badly with farmers.
Among the audience were the MAFF vet from Devon who
was removed from his position for publicly expressing
his total rejection of government culling policies,
and the internationally acclaimed virologist Dr. Ruth
Each of these delivered damning indictments
of government policies in the handling of the outbreak
and the government's refusal to use vaccination.
Dr.Watkins delivered a very powerful argument in favour
of vaccination,with which Tony Edwards could only
agree, having had the grace to describe her as a more
experienced virologist than he could ever be.
Farmers listened with riveted attention whilst the
panel turned pale and fidgeted.
Other points made were the total stagnation in
farmers' incomes due to movement restrictions,
slaughterhouses cashing in on the 'one way ticket'
for livestock by paying rock bottom prices,
the stringent regulations preventing the opening of
markets as much needed collection points for
and the possibility of a major cull of sheep
in the autumn on welfare grounds if restrictions were
not eased to allow farmers to find a market.
Many farmers have been unable to put up fields for hay and
silage due to overcrowded holdings.
It was certainly an interesting meeting and I
believe that the attitude of farmers is hardening
towards government policies and towards the unions.
They are beginning to pull together at last, and they
are sick and tired of being deceived, messed around,
and not being able to see what future there is for
them in farming.
If anyone would like the full text of Dr. Watkins
argument in favour of vaccination, I will gladly Email
it on request. Tessa.
The text of Ruth Watkins speech will shortly be available from this website.
Addendum from Sue
It was a good evening Tessa, and well worth the journey, just to witness the
farmers go silent (the atmosphere was palpable) when they realised that the
atrocities the Devon Vet was telling them about, were true!!
I don't think the farmers were very impressed with what they were being told
by the panel. The stock answer to movement problems was to sell the lambs on
welfare. (What a waste!) My main objection was to the number of times we
were told "It's EU policy" and we "Couldn't change EU policy"!! So now we
know.... we are living in a Dictatorship!!