Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tories would bring camelids under TB umbrella

At the Tory party conference this week, Shadow Minister Jim Paice MP gave the clearest commitment yet to a bTB eradication policy which hoovers up all its susceptible victims, including camelids.

Farmers Weekly has the story.
Camelids and alpacas could be brought into the testing regime for TB under a Conservative government, shadow farm minister Jim Paice has said.

Speaking exclusively to Farmers Weekly at the Tory party conference in Manchester, Mr Paice said he realised concern was growing about the reported reservoir of disease in the animals.

And he said the presence of TB in camelids needed tackling, even though many owners were against TB tests being carried out.
We have touched on this subject before, with a story from a Devon breeder here and an ongoing Cornish breakdown here. Several more breakdowns in alpaca and llama herds are coming to our attention, and to Defra's as well. At present any testing, slaughter, pioneering of new ante mortem tests or anything else to do with camelids, is up to owners of these animals. And Defra. But ultimately, Defra have a boss too. And it is not that vegetarian bloke called Hillary, who flatly refuses to act on any reservoir of this pernicious zoonotic disease except tested sentinel cattle, culled because of their exposure to the bacteria which causes it.

Overseeing Defra's non-policies on (some) Animals Health, is the OIE (Office des International Epizooties) to whom Hilary Benn is responsible for control and eradication of bTB. Wherever that may be.


Anonymous said...

Should the Conservatives gain overall control in the next general election the folk that work, rest and play in the Countryside will start to get back their lives and livelihoods.

This will include the scope for cattle farmers to manage the bTB wildlife reservoir.

The national cattle herd has been reduced drastically under the current vegetarian / politically-correct Labour regime.

It’s too early to rejoice – farmers never count their chickens … but there is a strong belief that an incoming Tory party would, amongst other things, ‘sort’ bTB.

We know from past experience that the NFU, NBA, CLA etc etc have been unable to influence policy and, in truth, have achieved a net result of a fat zero.

But the NFU - must come in for some very heavy criticism

So - we look to the likes of Farmers Guardian and Farmers Weekly – which incidentally have been way too soft on both the Labour government and the NFU – to keep the issues in the frontline – but they can only preach to the converted!

It’s been left to the likes of this blog and a few other individuals, groups and organisations to carry on the fight against this government’s animal health policies (!).

National newspapers (all?) are experiencing severe reductions in circulation with many free local papers. National media operations (inc the BBC) are too close to government – they fear not getting a story – an exclusive – and are therefore – forever grateful.

The net result is that we have the NFU and the national media in fear of the Government

What’s the NFU doing now about bTB – it’s sponsored two ‘fringe’ meetings at Manchester. Going through the motions again!

The NFU website states:
“Peter Kendall raised the thorny issue of the Conservatives' approach to Europe, stressing that a strong voice was important on the CAP and to influence legislation”

Wow! “Influence legislation?” - forget influencing legislation – why not write our own?

- Perhaps what Mr Kendall meant was that if we were out of the EU and ran our own ship and fed our own army with British beef produced from bTB-free British cattle that was also being exported worldwide ….?

- Perhaps he meant accurate labelling or identical welfare standards ………?

- Perhaps he didn’t mean that at all!

I have been brought up a Tory and it’s probably in my DNA – but the NFU appears to be very grateful for even the recognition by the Tories that the bTB problem exists …

Message to Kendall – get off your arse and start kicking theirs – your gonna be too late and too soft – I fear the situation is being compromised as we speak

Peter Brady

Matthew said...

Yes Peter, we aren't holding our collective breath either, although the Treasury may have a say in all of this debacle.

Too many 'newspapers' are content to print gov'ment and focus group press releases, rather than doing their homework. Fundamentally lazy. But the real tragedy is the total sidelining of the decades of experience, offered and rejected by the AHO vets in favour of the chatterings of a new breed of 'political scientist', who offer - exactly what gov'ment tell them they want.

The Tory party, with a few notable exceptions, have been conspicuous by their absence in opposition. Time will tell whether they are up to the job, or another T Bliar with a different tie.

Anonymous said...

Members of the Bovine TB Eradication Group for England:

I suggest the following (non-DEFRA) individuals meet with Jim Paice MP as soon as Parliament meets next week to sett up what's to happen and how it's going to be done:-

Andy Biggs (vet profession)
Bill Harper (farming industry)
David Maughan (farming industry)
Rob Paul (Animal Health)
Carl Padgett (vet profession)
Kevin Pearce (farming industry)
Jan Rowe (farming industry)
Paul Griffith (farming industry)

Peter Brady

I shall contact Jim Paice MP via his assistant