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Buitelaar Welcome Government Officials and the NFU to Development Farm to Discuss Current Restrictions with TB

It’s been a month since our team at our Development Farm welcomed guests from DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), The Welsh Government, APHA (Animal, Plant & Health Agency) England & Wales and NFU representatives, to discuss TB restricted farms, Approved Finishing Units (AFU’s) and the GB Dairy Calf Strategy.

As it stands, the process of moving TB restricted calves from the dairy farm to licensed units within England & Wales can prove challenging, with licensing regulations posing potential obstacles, particularly when it comes to cross border movement. The day provided ample opportunity for wider conversation to not only address these barriers but to develop ways to overcome them, whilst considering the key focus areas from the Dairy Calf Strategy particularly regarding the topic of calf health & welfare.

As such, a mutual agreement was made between key stakeholders to work unanimously in simplifying processes and continuing to add value to the calf on the dairy farm and move away from the current disparity in price between clean and TB-restricted calves.

Senior bTB Policy Manager, Tom Dracup said:

“This meeting was a fantastic opportunity to work with other key organisations to not only showcase the GB Calf strategies concerns with current bTB policy to Defra and Welsh government, but also to highlight how we as a farming industry have clear solutions with the appetite to deliver in partnership with government.

He added:

"We welcome the actions taken from the day and look forward to building on these over the coming weeks”.

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The invaluable knowledge gained from the day will be used to further support those involved including policy makers, dairy farmers, and beef producers alike.

Business Development Manager (Livestock), Gabby Emery said:

It’s great to be a part of such a proactive group of stakeholders who share a genuine drive to improve the efficiencies within the TB supply chain. Meetings such as these are hugely important to ensure a consistent message is delivered to the wider industry; as understanding the processes surrounding the movement of TB restricted animals can become confusing for many, particularly in the instance of a first time shut down.”

We are committed to tackling industrywide issues to help better drive the cattle industry forwards. In recent years, our own solutions-orientated outlook has led us to make considerable increases in UK AFU space, assisting TB-restricted dairy farmers, during what can be a disastrous time for businesses.

We commend the NFU for initiating and improving communications across the industry, as well as the APHA and DEFRA for their openness to engage in possible solutions to the overarching problem that TB poses. We will continue to work with industry representatives to bring positive and effective change to help safeguard these vital roles within our industry.

For more information on becoming an AFU, click here.