THE muddle of government policies has reached Defra. On the one hand Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, announces a commitment to eradicate bovine TB in cattle.
On the other hand. he intends to reduce regulations which will result in 12,000 fewer dairy inspections, while at the same time stating “there are areas like movement of cattle that require real work”.
What a muddle!
Livestock auctioneers have concerns about the relaxed regulation as they rely on their customers to prevent the spread of bovine TB in cattle by having tight bio-security on and off their farms and requiring current accurate health declarations.
The annual badger cull rolled out across the country will only reduce the disease by at most 12-16 per cent as fortunately it is now recognised the assumption of badger guilt is history as the disease is transferable to all “dirty feeders” – for example, cattle, deer, hedgehogs.
Fewer regulations will increase the disease so it’s back to square one. All parties involved are totally fed up. The NFU should lobby for a cattle vaccine which could be administered alongside other routine vaccines, and lobby for EU regulations to be changed.
Too much time has been wasted lobbying for a cull and not enough time making a real difference.
Thirty years ago the vaccine was “10 years away”. Do something credible and not just short-termism for political gain.
From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby, York.
I FULLY support your editorial about trying to help struggling farmers (Country Week, June 22), but being realistic and a bit of a pessimist, I am afraid that only two things help our hardworking farmers.
They are wars and famines.
During the last war there wasn’t a politician locally or nationally who didn’t want a farmer as a friend. A dozen eggs, a leg of pork, a shoulder of mutton or a pat of butter really were a source for politicians to “ring a friend”.
Defra are anything but a friend to farmers and today’s politicians are not very good at helping them either.
As for supermarkets, in many ways they are greedy and a social evil.
It would be interesting to know how many village corner shops and butchers have had to close because of them.
I have to count every penny I spend nowadays but I would rather pay a bit more at a local butchers, knowing that what I was buying was top quality and from local farmers.
I love horses and I hate to think that I may have been eating them.
Nonsense to reject coalitions
From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
FOR a man who was at the heart of power in the Thatcher era, Bernard Ingham (Yorkshire Post, June 19) displays a surprising immaturity in his attitude to coalitions. Or maybe it isn’t that surprising after all!
There is nothing inherently wrong or inimical to good government with coalitions. They are familiar features in several countries e.g. the Netherlands, Italy and Germany to name but a few. Of course, coalitions may or may not be effective in running a country but to reject them in principle is clearly nonsense.
Even if one party succeeds in obtaining an absolute majority, they are in effect coalitions of views within the party. The present Conservative party is in effect two (or more) parties and the dissenters from the official policy are so far out of line that they are in fact sailing under false colours. It is difficult to see where they differ from Ukip.
In our situation, differences between the parties are openly thrashed out and where views are irreconcilable, they agree to differ.
This is a far more intellectually honest way of conducting government than nominally supporting a party and sniping from the sidelines. These people are in effect saboteurs.
Although not everyone accepts this, the excesses of Thatcher are a salutary lesson on where unbridled power can lead.
From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington.
PRIME Minister David Cameron wrongly claims that “We’re all in this together”, in relation to the pain endured in reducing the nation’s financial deficit. In truth, it is the poor and disadvantaged who are being hit the hardest, as a consequence of savage benefit cuts and the iniquitous “bedroom tax”. Whereas the wealthy endure little or no pain through taking advantage of tax avoidance loopholes.
I, along with other Unite trade union members, have been campaigning against the aforementioned measures and have been horrified at the effects such measures are having on people who are already trying to exist on breadline incomes. It is therefore a national disgrace that thousands of people are only able to survive by receiving food handouts from charities.
Our gratitude to Snowden
From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.
SPY or not, traitor or not, surely we should be grateful to Edward Snowden, the young man the Oval Office is desperate to arrest and gag – if they can find him – because he has uncovered the dirty tricks that the USA get up to by hacking into our private emails and phone calls?
And it goes further, because he has revealed that the UK security service is no better.
We need to be told more, before the young man is either bumped off, American-style, or shut up in a nut house, American-style, for life.