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Animal welfare costs on agenda

by 5m Editor
20 February 2007, at 10:21am

UK - Farmers in the North-East will tonight be able to put forward their views on Government proposals to share the cost of animal health and welfare issues between Defra and the industry.

The NFU has organised a meeting this evening at Hexham Auction Mart to give its grass roots members the chance to have their say on the consultation paper that was published at the end of last year.

And former North-East NFU adviser Kevin Pearce, who is now the NFU's head of food and farming, will be travelling up to the region to hear members' views at first hand.

The NFU has already stated that the debate over responsibility and cost-sharing for animal health and welfare must bring about a cultural change in the relationship between Defra and farmers.

And this week it stressed how important it was for farmers to have their say on this matter, which will have major implications for the entire livestock industry, from dairy farmers to pig farmers.

With the threat of bird flu looming, bovine TB causing more and more misery for farmers, and the memory of foot-and-mouth still present, the NFU feels that this debate will provide a clear example of whether Defra is trying to work with the industry or simply impose further regulatory and financial burdens on UK agriculture.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: "This consultation exercise must bring about a real and genuine discussion about how farmers and Defra can work towards a partnership approach to animal health and welfare policy.

Source: icNewcastle.co.uk

5m Editor