After a 'constructive' meeting with an NFU delegation, vice chairman Meurig Raymond told Farmers Guardian, that Mr. Bradshaw had asked the Union to construct a proposal for controlling bTb which he could present to ministers.
Optimists may see this as a sign that Ministers may be finally be prepared to address the issue which they fear has become so divisive that it may jeopardise the success of their 'Animal Health and Welfare Strategy'. The more realistic among us would say 'There's an an election coming'. But we would agree that government's commitment to 'Animal Health and Welfare' has been distinctly lacking on this issue. And if the industry now ignores Captain Birdseye's plea - it will be used as stick to beat them with at a later date.
Meanwhile it buys a little more time, will probably be 'cherry picked' rather than used as a complete strategy and will ensure several thousand more livestock farmers leave the industry.
Meetings will take place next week, in which veterinarians, conservationists and farmers will draw up a common strategy which will include cattle movement and/or testing controls and the targeted culling of infected wildlife.
Mr. Raymond said the Minister seemed genuinely concerned to find a way through the situation, as it was undermining the ' parnership' approach. He said "Farmers will play their part in eradicating Tb but we need a commitment from Government to do the same, in partnership with us. We desperately need a resolution and an end to this scandalous situation, before Tb destroys the cattle sector".
That cosy word 'partner' again. Did Meurig not realise that Defra had already awarded the NFBG 'Partner of the Year'?
Two's company - three's a crowd.