The Farmers’ Union of Wales has written to the Welsh Economy Minister, Ken Skates, in support of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) call for action to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic does not lead to a future reduction in veterinary capacity.
The current pandemic does not alter the importance of ensuring that staffing levels within veterinary practices are such that 24/7 emergency care for livestock is provided in order to safeguard animal health and welfare. This may require staff to be brought back from furlough and it is essential that the furlough scheme is flexible enough to cope with this type of arrangement in the immediate and long term.
Farmers in Derbyshire have lost a legal challenge against the UK Government's decision to cancel badger culling under license in that area.
Farmers in the area were just one day away from commencing badger cull operations before the government directed Natural England to withdraw the licences in September 2019.
Using data from veterinary practitioners, it was estimated that around 77% of new cases of TB in Derbyshire were due to badger infections.
The u-turn was legally challenged as ‘unlawful’, however the final judgement on 13th May dismissed the challenge, subject to appeals. The decision was considered lawful due to political reasons, despite the fact that the farmers met all of the Government’s requirements for a licence.
Farmers in Derbyshire had a reasonable expectation that the license would be granted and the ruling may have significant implications for future bovine TB control.