24th November 2013
Badger Trust says it is appalling that the bovine TB (bTB) status of cattle at market is only now to be openly displayed to buyers. It is no less appalling that this scheme, announced in May, is still only voluntary with farmers being merely “invited” to use it and only so far at a single market .
Vendors attending the sale of native beef breeds at Chelford Market on November 9th will be invited to fill in a form giving information such as when their animals were last tested for bTB and whether they are from four-year or one-year testing farms
Such a policy, obligatory and nationwide, could have moderated or avoided the damaging escalation over the last 23 years through cattle-to-cattle and farm-to-farm transmission. Now, thousands of badgers could be killed as scapegoats in misguided culling operations.
David Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust, said: “This is another glaring example of how government has failed to get a grip on this industry which blames everyone but itself for its own difficulties. Even now Ministers dare only to invite farmers to look after their own interests instead of telling them to do what they should be doing in everyone else’s interests. The necessary industry-based movement and other restrictions introduced progressively since January were at the insistence of the European Union, not at the request of the cattle industry or the Coalition”.