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NFU: 3 Red Lines to Cross on Cost-Sharing

by 5m Editor
6 February 2008, at 1:49pm

UK - The National Farmers' Union Deputy President Meurig Raymond has spoken out against Government plans to charge farmers for animal disease control

Speaking from a London conference Mr Raymond said that, with confidence in the Government's good intentions at as low an ebb as livestock farming incomes, this was the worst possible time to be talking about making farmers pay for what most of them would regard as the Government's responsibility.

"We have three red lines that must be protected before we can even think of talking seriously about cost and responsibility sharing," Mr Raymond said. "The first is a bankable assurance that any sharing of costs will be matched by an equivalent sharing of influence over how the money is spent.


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"We have three red lines that must be protected before we can even think of talking seriously about cost and responsibility sharing."
The National Farmers' Union Deputy President Meurig Raymond

"The second is a thorough review of Defra's animal disease budget, so that we can be quite sure we are not being asked to contribute towards costs that should never have been incurred in the first place, and the third is concerted action to deal with every aspect of the nightmare which is bovine TB.

"Some previous attempts at so called government/industry partnerships, which have in reality not even been close to a genuine partnership, have left a bitter taste in the mouth of farmers. As a result, there is a real lack of trust and a great deal of suspicion in the farming community about what Defra is attempting with this consultation."

The reason the NFU, along with 27 other livestock organisations, had signed a joint statement criticising the timing of the consultation was not a delaying tactic, he said.

"We will continue to work with Defra to find solutions to reduce the costs of animal health and welfare policies but we are not prepared to simply stand back and allow costs to be imposed on the industry which it simply cannot afford. We cannot miss this real opportunity for the creation of a new relationship between the government and industry which could set a new direction for how we deal with animal health and welfare policy in this country."

5m Editor