Minister’s Proposal A ‘Step Too Far’

11 Mar

Follows is a press release from NFU Cymru shown in full:

 Brecon and Radnor farmers have expressed their anger at Welsh Government proposals to change the way in which farmers are compensated for cattle slaughtered as a result of testing positive for bovine TB.

Members of NFU Cymru discussed this matter at a recent meeting held in Builth Wells. Brecon and Radnor NFU Cymru County Chairman, Stuart Morris said, “The consultation looks at moving from the current system whereby animals are valued individually to a system whereby the value of an animal is determined by reference to a table pre-populated with GB average livestock market sales data.

“Some of the comments within the Welsh Government document are quite insulting. In one place the document states that the current system ‘does not provide sufficient incentive for farmers to keep disease out of their herd’. This is an outrageous statement. Despite receiving compensation for slaughtered cattle following a positive test, farm businesses suffer a heavy financial burden having to bear the consequential losses from the shortfall in milk sales or blood lines from a herd breakdown as well as the cost of movement restrictions placed on affected farms. These costs are not compensated for and, in some cases, run into tens of thousands of pounds.”

Mr Morris continued, “Members present were absolutely against this proposed move away from the current system. Moving to a crude and imprecise system of an average tabular valuation will mean that poor quality animals are overvalued, whilst good quality animals are undervalued. We do not believe that the 51 different categories of animals that the Welsh Government propose to have in the valuation table will ever truly reflect the diverse values of different animals. These vary enormously according to breed, age, sex, bloodline/pedigree status, seasonality and organic status. Neither will they be able to take into account geographical differences in prices that do arise.

“This consultation is a step too far and we ask that Welsh Government urgently reconsider these damaging proposals.”

I’m sorry that the Minister has upset our farmers yet again. In my view the problem isn’t just that the Minister isn’t on the ‘same page as Welsh farmers, he isn’t even reading the same book’!

I’m furious that the implication from this is that the only thing farmers need is incentives to look after their herds. What utter rubbish. Generations of farming families have worked long and hard to build up pedigree herds, yet the Minister thinks that it is just a money incentive that matters, doesn’t know farmers because if that was the cause farmers wouldn’t be farming, they’d be taking the safer, easier, less stressful life by working as Welsh civil servants.





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  1. Foodie

    March 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    This is unbelievable! Whist farmers are jumping through higher and higer hoops trying to keep their herds free from TB, the source of the infection is being ignored!
    Some farmers are looking to keep their herds in all year in an attempt to keep them safe – is this what we want? A countryside without farm animals grazing green fields?
    Every living thing can get TB and it kills. It is a shame this government does not remember TB hospitals where children with TB went to die. That generation would find it impossible to believe that we would not do everything in our powers to rid the country of this disease. Lets blame the farmers, that makes it all alright!
    I am sorry if I have come across too strongly, but I have sat with farmers who were close to the edge, crying over the loss of a herd and have seen the upset this causes.

  2. Farmer

    March 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    A step too far? It’s miles too far.
    What is wrong with this Minister that he cannot understand farming and our businesses
    TB is despicable and has devastated so many farms all over the country.
    I guess it’s a bonus if the Minister responsible for farming knew how farming worked, but as he does not appear to know this, then why doesn’t he learn? Whoever is advising him on farming needs the boot.
    I cannot believe this and that our unions now appear powerless to stop him finishing off our industry.
    He’s no idea how distressed many farmers are and that’s not being melodramatic it’s a hard, cold fact.

  3. Benji7???

    March 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Gee whiz
    I’ve not heard such utter twaddle
    Support Welsh food don’t talk rubbish where does the Minister think Welsh food comes from?
    Sorry, I can guess much of it is already imported in and this will get worse as many farmers give up fighting this government.

  4. Farmer chap

    March 13, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Whatever side the Minister is on he’s never on the side of farmers or food producers.
    Spin away Mr Davies, but that’s al it is spin with no substance and not knowing farming

  5. producer

    March 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    It is sad news that this Minister is so out of touch with farmers and producers.
    We need someone leading from the front but not without listening to us.
    Heard about the food seminars. Described to me as Quangos in suits and shiny shoes, very, very few producers because they are all working during the day. Which civil servant muppet couldn’t work that out, evening meetings a good idea, or as again said to me, the Government aren’t bothered about micro producers. How short-sighted are these people?
    We deserve better, we certainly do