WELL done Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards for putting together information packs to help cattle farmers protect their herds from TB!

I won’t hold my breath for cattle farmers to adopt any of this advice.

They’ve had four years to act on the online advice in DEFRA’s TBHub, launched by Farming Minister George Eustice in November 2015. Similar advice has been available to farmers since long before that. The advice is widely ignored.

The TBHub is one of the more sensible initiatives from DEFRA.

The recommended measures (examples include correct storage of fresh manure and slurry, restricting wildlife access to cattle pens, feed stores and water-troughs) are voluntary.

The measures should be compulsory and compensation for cattle slaughtered because of TB made conditional on high standards of on-farm bio-security.

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Otherwise they will continue to be ignored, cattle farmers will suffer financial losses and the taxpayer will continue footing the compensation bill.

George Eustice, MP for a largely agricultural constituency, comes from a farming background.

He has been Farming Minister under three Prime Ministers. He must know farmers are taking little notice of the TBHub.

Was it a smokescreen to make it look like DEFRA was doing something useful?

Is that why, 15 months on, he has yet to respond to the Godfray Report which highlighted farmers’ reluctance to take on board measures to help protect their herds from the scourge of TB?

West Coker