Select Committee on Agriculture Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr Richard Henton, National Farmers' Union of Scotland (J16)

  I am replying to your letter of 2 August in which you invite this Union to comment on progress in implementing the Government's programme to deal with the badger/bovine TB issue.

  Fortunately, here in Scotland we are situated a long way from the part of the country where the issue of badgers and bovine TB is a problem and where the Government's programme to deal with it is focused. We do not therefore have first hand experience of the implementation of this programme, and in the circumstances do not really feel qualified to comment on its progress.

  Our colleagues in the NFU of England and Wales however, will have direct experience of this, and will no doubt be commenting accordingly. I feel sure that had we had experience of the Government's programme, our comments would closely mirror those of the NFU.

  Our overriding concern is for the Government and the cattle industry in the UK to get on top of the bovine TB problem, once and for all. This is a disease that we thought we had under control, but this now appears not to be the case. Unless the TB situation is retrieved it will do incalculable damage to the cattle industry, not only in those parts that are currently affected, but throughout the entire country, Scotland included. This must not be allowed to happen.

  The bovine TB problem must be brought under control with the utmost urgency.

  We look forward to learning the Committee's further deliberations on this issue of importance to the whole country.

25 October 2000

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