report from the regional chairman Rod Tuck;
update on FMD, meat export issues,
cull sows and biosecurity by Ian Campbell;
training opportunities in the region, outlined by Chris Knock, project manager,
Business Skills in the East of England;
Ian Campbell will update the committee on GM Foods, PDNS/PMWS, ABP resumption; zoonosisa testing;
members will have an opportunity for questions and an open discussion.
Well I went to the National Pig Association area meeting. They welcomed me, and it was an interesting meeting; lots of stuff about monkey meat, welfare prices #30-00 a sow, PFA movement from N Scotland and the South, cull sales for export from July 20th (if a miracle happens and they can present a good case) but more likely they are stuffed till October and probably longer if the F&M Tail doesnt tail off, Tesco & Asda (unrealistic )demand for G M free pork, etc etc.
I am shell shocked.
I spoke after the meeting to several people who were totally in denial of the facts as we know them, and were totally in line with Maff/Defra's PR .
I asked the chairman if the graph of figures he had presented of the tail
off of F&M were actual cases, or just animals culled. He said, "Animals
I asked what proportion of culled animals he thought had actually been found to have F&M.
He said, "MOST OF THEM."
I queried the total of animals killed.
He said that MAFF's figures included all animals, including lambs, calves and piglets.
I expressed my worries about men working for high wages having the means to perpetuate the disease , and indeed threatening to do so, and asked him what we could do to stop this.
He suggested that a letter to the Ministry and my MP would sort out the problem.
On top of all this I heard so much bilge being presented to these poor farmers; I had people telling me about models of virus spread, it being OK to cull out on D notices, farmers resisting the cull were causing the spread of the disease, the government only enquired about sleepers because of worries over swine fever, and on and on.
My head is still spinning. I tried really hard to stay pleasant and handed out Heart of Britain press releases, but it was scary, and I feel I need to do better. Oh how I wish Tony had been with me.
Still , I think most of the meeting went home unimpressed with what they heard from the chair, and they now have some contact numbers.