Farmers urged to help influence bTB strategy in webinar

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is hosting a webinar on the bovine tuberculosis (bTB) eradication strategy which has been proposed by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Minister Edwin Poots for UFU members.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 8:00 am

The online webinar will be held on Thursday 26 August at 8.00pm. The UFU officer bearer team will give their view on DAERA’s proposals and provide guidance to UFU membership.

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity for farmers to influence the future of a TB eradication strategy in Northern Ireland. The DAERA strategy proposes seismic changes that will affect our livestock industry and have far-reaching implications.

“The document includes changes to compensation payments which farmers receive for livestock in the event of a TB disease breakdown, legislation to enable the department to test non-bovines and amendments to the control of badgers amongst a raft of other proposals.

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He added: “I urge all UFU members to register for the webinar as we must grasp this golden opportunity and develop a solution that will work for the farming industry. We need to tackle the awful scourge that is TB once and for all.”

The line-up of speakers for the webinar will comprise: UFU president Victor Chestnutt; deputy presidents David Brown and William plus animal health committee chairman Andrew McCammond.

A union spokesperson commented: “Union policy on bTB eradication will be finalised at our August Executive meeting, taking place on Wednesday evening of this week.

“Thursday’s evening webinar will allow the office bearer team and Andrew McCammond to discuss these matters in detail. DAERA officials will not be taking part.”

The spokesperson added: “The bTB consultation period ends on 7th September.

“The union is encouraging as many members as possible to respond to the consultation on an individual basis.

“This week’s webinar will help facilitate this process.”