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UFU says 'No Deal' on Cost Sharing

by 5m Editor
24 May 2007, at 6:50am

UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union has told senior DEFRA officials this week that there is ‘no deal’ on current animal health cost sharing proposals, unless farmers are given a proper input into policy making.

Leaders from the UK Farmers’ Union’s met with DEFRA in Edinburgh. UFU President Kenneth Sharkey said he rejected DEFRA’s latest proposals which would lead to farmers contributing to the costs of animal health control.

Kenneth Sharkey said; “It is clear to me that what DEFRA have proposed would be unacceptable to Northern Ireland farmers. Farmers are being asked to help fund animal health costs but there is no assurance that farmers will be given an input into animal health policies. What DEFRA are proposing is not a partnership, and it would be another unwelcome financial burden on farmers”.

Kenneth Sharkey added; “We won’t sign up to cost sharing when there are no guarantees that we will be given a proper say in disease prevention and control policies. For example we need a much more effective policy to control and eradicate diseases such as TB and Brucellosis, which are causing so much hardship for farming families in Northern Ireland. TB is an example of how the Governments current approach to animal disease is not working and how we could not sign up to cost sharing when the measures we would be helping to pay for are clearly not working”.

The UFU also reminded DEFRA that farmers already contribute significantly to disease control both in terms of time, such as herd testing, and direct costs. The Union also continues to highlight the issue of affordability.

5m Editor