Department for Environment & Rural Affairs Date: 19 March 2014
To Pedigree Herd Societies
Dear Sir or Madam
Bovine TB: Risk Based Trading(RBT) and Pedigree Herds
As you may be aware, as part of Defra's programme to eradicate bovine TB, markets are being encouraged to ask cattle sellers to provide certain historic TB information so that buyers can make better decisions on the TB risks associated with the animals they introduce into their herds.
We have been made aware that some owners of pedigree herds in the High Risk area are concerned that the approach we are taking to promoting RBT may damage their ability to sell their cattle outside that area.
We wish to establish if this a view widely held by pedigree breed societies and, if so, what steps might be taken to help your members.
One option that has been put to us is for sellers who carry out a pre-movement test and then isolate pedigree stock on their holding prior to sending them to market to make that known to the auction market and for relevant information to be displayed at market and/or in sale catalogues. We would welcome that.
What we are unsure of is whether there is any role that Defra could play in seeking to make it happen, given that we would not have the resource to assess such isolation arrangements.
If you feel we could add value to your efforts, and your members' efforts, please let us know.
Of course, isolating stock prior to sale would not work for owners of TB breakdown herds.These herds will need to continue to abide by TB breakdown controls until such time as their official TB freedom is restored.
We also want to take this opportunity to let you know about work that has started to establish an accreditation standard for TB, which we hope would be of particular benefit to pedigree herd owners.
We are in discussion with Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHeCS) about the details of such a standard. As I am sure you know, around 90% of farmers who are accredited to the CheCS standard for other diseases, such as BVD, IBR and Johne's Disease, are pedigree herd owners.
We would welcome a dialogue with breed societies on risk-based trading.
Depending on responses to this letter, we would be happy to set up a discussion with those of you who wish to work with us. A response to this letter by 28 March would therefore be appreciated.
"Depending on responses to this letter, [the man said] we would be happy to set up a discussion with those of you who wish to work with us." ...
And then, having 'consulted' we'll do it anyway? You've got a week to reply and by the way, any form of effective badger 'management' is in the long grass. And 'vaccination' has taken on a life of its own as an alternative
A point of order Mr. J:
'Accreditation' for zTB in dairy cattle started in the 1960s when the eradication of this disease began across the British isles.
Farmers thus 'accredited' received an extra 4p a gallon for their milk.
Prior to 1972, farmers managed their own populations of wildlife, and post 1973, MAFF managed infectious badgers under license.
This was the Ministry map of parishes on annual testing due a 'confirmed breakdown' in 1986. Less than 100 herds were under TB restriction, and 684 cattle were slaughtered.
Everything stalled in the mid 1980s, as parallel action on infectious wildlife in response to cattle breakdowns was progressively sanitised and land available for cage trapping was reduced from 7km to just 1km from base. And then only permitted on land cattle had grazed..
Inevitably, the red parishes spread out. And out.
And since 1997 when Defra and its agencies made a conscious decision not to issue licenses under Section 10 (2) a of the Protection of Badgers Act, to 'prevent the spread of disease' you and your cronies have all but destroyed the cattle industry in the south/ south west of these islands. And are having a damn good go at flattening the enterprises of farmed deer, milking goats, free range pigs, pedigree sheep and alpaca farmers.
Have the breed societies of these other mammals received a fast track missive on Risk based Trading? No? We thought not.
One of their latest maps, looking a tad truncated as Wales and Scotland are missing, issued by Defra in 2013.
This year, inevitably, Defra's Maginot line has moved again..
By changing a label, and resurrecting the old description 'accredited' you won't stop grossly infectious wildlife infecting other mammals, and that's any mammal whether they be the food producing kind or companion varieties. In fact you have no strategy for zTB - [ link] at all - except more pain for cattle farmers.
From The Farmers Forum posts on this subject:
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