TB Strategic Partnership Group Report, UFU Initial Response

Thursday, 15 December, 2016

The Ulster Farmers’ Union says the publication of the final report from the TB Strategic Partnership Group (TBSPG) will drive a new debate on how a disease that has frustrated farmers for decades might finally be tackled in a coordinated way.  It says it looks forward to the consultation on the plans in the New Year, and to members of the TBSPG meeting the UFU to discuss the findings and recommendations.

“We recognise there was never going to be a solution that would satisfy everyone.  That reflects the contrast between the views of farmers and those opposed to tackling the wildlife link.  However where we do have common ground it is knowing that the present situation cannot continue.  That approach has failed – new solutions have to be found,” said UFU president, Barclay Bell.

Mr Bell said the UFU recognised the effort that had gone into the report.  “There are things we like.  The acceptance of the need to tackle the wildlife link, the plan for an overarching and also local bodies to oversee TB eradication and the fact that this is a coordinated approach.  We have concerns about some of the technical plans for breakdown farms. The Union is up for consultation and we realise difficult decisions will have to be taken.  Fundamentally, safeguarding our livestock farmers and their businesses will ultimately decide our view of the report and the proposed way ahead,” said the UFU president.