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UK Farmers Rally Against Cost Sharing

23 April 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - The National Farmers Union is urging farmers to attend a series of meetings across the regions to discuss Defra's plans for the industry to contribute to the costs of preparing against exotic disease outbreaks.

Officeholders and specialist advisers will be on hand to explain what is being considered in a consultation exercise which runs until June 30. The meetings will help guide the NFU response.

When the plans were revealed at the end of March, the NFU criticised the government for seeking to burden those in the livestock sector with additional costs, despite the fact that the foot and mouth outbreak in 2007 was traced to government-licensed premises and has already cost £100m in uninsurable losses.

Defra envisages a 50/50 split with the industry, translating to a £22 million bill to be paid through a registration system.

NFU President, Peter Kendall, said: "Farmers are dismayed by Defra's proposals and many have little confidence in Defra on animal health issues.

"We continue to see bovine TB reaching epidemic proportions in some parts of the country, wiping out nearly 40,000 cattle last year alone, and costing the industry millions. This is on top of the foot and mouth outbreak which left the livestock industry reeling.

"Defra's effective and efficient management of the current Animal Health Budget is seriously lacking and our view is backed by National Audit Office. This round of consultations is really important. The potential implications of Defra's proposals for our members are huge."

A list of the NFU meetings, which run between April 30 and June 10, is available below, along with details of Defra's own consultation meetings.

Further Reading

- You read about the Defra consultations by clicking here.

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