Trade in Wales & Scotland – why not Manchester?

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Great news for farmers in Wales and in Scotland who have had the stranglehold loosened a little – they can now send their cloven-hoof animals to slaughter. But how is this justified in policy? Presumably because of separation from Surrey. So what about the same for farmers in northern England, who are just as far from Surrey? Where is the logic? Where is the science? (Anyone seen the epidemiological report behind this decision?)

Rumours of permission to take animals to slaughter in England – anywhere outside the protection zone – are tantalising. We would be able to stop worrying about potential future shortages that might result from not being able to send animals to the abattoir – and the animal welfare issues from not being able to kill at the right time.

By the way – why do the media insist on referring to the NFU as ‘the farmers’ and take their views to represent us all? Farmers producing food for the local market and UK – not exporting – are all stifled by Defra’s trade control policies, which the NFU support. The meat trade is not all about export!!! That’s why we say let us vaccinate. To protect animals and their business – and let farmers sell healthy immunised animals in the same way they already do. FMD should not cripple farmers every time it appears. Immunisation – used properly – is a vital welfare tool for the farmer and FMD vaccines should be in the toolbox too.

If we hear soon that the remainder of the country can move ‘at risk’ animals to the abattoir again, (except from the PZ) it raises the questions: why is it OK now? ; why was the ban deemed necessary in the first place?

While we all argue… it’s worth taking a moment to consider the Ward family at Stroude Farm today, who are sadly having 800 pigs and 40 cattle killed ‘on suspicion’ by Defra. UPDATE – ANOTHER CASE – The presence of FMD has now also been confirmed in the culled Stroude farm herds. Defra have altered the protection zones.

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