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Email from Ruth Watkins Sat November 3 2007

What you can see below is that though DEFRA says it has not decided to make vaccination compulsory or voluntary, it makes no mention of the EU funding for a compulsory vaccination programme. Now it may be that when the tender results come back in 2 weeks and they make their decisions there may be some firmer guidance from the EU. However once DEFRA have ordered and set up their vaccine bank you can see that they intend to recoup the whole of the cost vaccine and administraton of the bank from the farmers.

The farmers will not only have to buy the vaccine and pay for veterinary administration or supervision but perhaps buy extra tags for the vaccinated animals and pay for pre-movement testing to comply with the DEFRA / EU rules. I think it is disgraceful that the whole cost should be passed to the farmers when the EU and DEFRA make the rules (DEFRA makes extra rules) and the EU has offered 100% the cost of the vaccine and 50% of the cost of vaccination (no mention of which is made by DEFRA) which will obviously entail a significant cost otherwise to the farmer without this support.

There is no mention of removal of restriction zones so pre-movement testing will become an additional expense for some, will this be PCR and ELISA? They could be charging £40 or £50 for both those tests per animal / specimen.

There isn't any mention of devolvement though I expect that will come soon enough.

A local farmer Elwyn came and cut my hedges and brambles this afternoon in those few places where I allow them to be cut (One would be unable to get down the drive after 2 years of no cutting). His reaction to bluetongue was no-one is telling anybody much about it but he knew there were 60 infected holdings.

He also said that how could he treat ill sheep when he did not know if they would ever get better or be any good when they did (clearly he couldn't afford flunixin, antibiotics and rehydration fluid for every sick animal certainly not if they were going to die or make a partial recovery only).

Of course when they died it would be a total loss of their value, and then to add insult to injury one would have to pay the National fallen stock company individually for each sheep to be taken away for incineration at £12.50 a sheep over 12 months, £10 lambs 2 - 12 months and £5 a lamb under 2 months. So he said if one didn't go bankrupt when a 100s of one's ewes died and you got nothing you would go bankrupt when you had to pay the fallen stock charges.

He said prices for sheep alive or dead were getting worse if anything. He would vaccinate his sheep even if he had to pay because he couldn't afford not to. But I think everybody is reducing their flocks, or going out of sheep, if they can.

Yours sincerely Ruth

ruthwatkins@supanet.com

01550740660

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

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