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
25 October 2000