Saturday, July 25, 2009

FCN - New report

The Farm Crisis Network , a charity which supports farmers in times of stress ( for whatever reason) has produced a report on the effect a TB breakdown has on the farmers caught up in it.

We covered some of the many 'advantages' of TB restriction in a very early post on this site, many of which are repeated in FCN's report. The pdf.document (Note - file size 1.12 MB) is called 'Stress and Loss' and contains the results of interviews with many farmers whose herds have experienced TB restrictions.

FCN carried out research on the impact of bovine TB on farming families in three TB hotspots. The results are contained in a 39 page document, inter spaced with quotes from the many farming families interviewed.
"The worst thing was that cows very close to calving had to be shot on farm. We could see the calves kicking inside as they died....I feel there is a constant dark cloud of uncertainty over me, causing stress, anxiety and fear. I feel weary, mentally and physically which results in pain in my body.....Financially it is very stressful. Cash flow is a huge problem. Having to keep animals when I would normally sell them puts more pressure on me, on my family, animal accommodation and feed costs. I don't know how long we can keep going...."

The interviews were carried out by FCN volunteers in three areas - West Wales, the South West and Worcestershire - all longstanding bovine TB hotspots which having experienced decades of Ministerial prevarication, just like Topsy, have grown.

In fact they now link up, in a river of red annual testing parishes, from Lands End heading northwards and westwards, (as Defra's 2008 Parish Testing Map shows.)

Defra are more than happy to pile on the cattle restrictions (and pile up the carcasses) but as one farmer interviewed remarked:
"[TB] restrictions change the nature of the business - we are 'dancing to others' tune' rather than managing our own business as we would wish to."
And by dancing to Defra's tunes on their non-control of environmental tuberculosis, we are all playing games with a most deadly of diseases.


Anonymous said...


First you must burn the cattle and the sheep
Then the horses and the hounds.
Then you must burn the people.

You must cut rural England out of all the maps,
The history books, out of the old newspapers,
And burn all these; and burn also
The books, paintings, poems and photographs.

And when you have burnt all these
You must bury the ashes
You must guard the graves

And even then
Rural England will only be dead - like John Peel.
Technically dead, that's all,
Technically dead.

based upon a poem by

Adrian Mitchell by

Anonymous said...


The dark eleventh hour
Draws on and sees us sold
For every evil power
We fight against of old.
Jealousy, class and hate,
Oppression, wrong and greed
Are loosed to rule our fate,
By New Labour’s act and deed.

The faith in which we stand
The laws we made and guard,
Our honour, lives, and land
Are given for reward
To infectious badgers by night,
To rambler’s boots by day,
To folly, sloth, and spite,
And we are thrust away.

The blood our fathers spilt
Our love, our toils, our pains,
Are counted as for guilt,
And only bind our chains.
Before the country’s eyes,
The traitor claims his price.
What need of further lies?
We are the sacrifice.

The terror, threats, and dread
In market, heath, and field –
We know, when all is said,
We perish if we yield.
Believe, we dare not boast,
One Law, one Land, one Throne.
We stand to pay the cost
We shall not fall alone

A poem based on
Rudyard Kipling’s “Ulster 1912”
Written in response to the
then government’s creation
of the Parliament Act