UFU Hits Out At DAERA Over Plans To Survey Badgers For TB

The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) has hit out after the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) announced plans to survey badgers for TB.

UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt said that farmers are facing a rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground and recognise the need for immediate action.

He said: "However, the introduction of more on farm controls does not go far enough to tackle the real underlying problem. Only 0.84% of cattle in Northern Ireland have TB, compared to 17% of badgers. It should not come as a surprise that farmers are pressing for more wildlife intervention."

DAERA plans to survey badgers for TB and remove infected animals in two areas in Northern Ireland, which Mr Chestnutt said is a small step.
News Image
He continued: "Farmers are unlikely to be satisfied by this given the current scale of the problem. They are frustrated by the lack of progress and with a TB program that appears to be addressing only one side of the problem."

The UFU was not consulted on the additional measures prior to DAERA's announcement.

Mr Chestnutt said: "There have been a number of occasions in the last year where important decisions have been made without consultation with industry. It is concerning and underlines the important role our elected officials play.

"As the old saying goes – the proof will be in the pudding. TB is rampant in the countryside at the moment and many farmers are at their wits end. Something needs to be done. While we would like to see swifter, more meaningful action on wildlife, the additional measures announced by DAERA are a start."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 January 2018
QUB Announce Jobs 'Open Day'
A jobs Open Day has been announced alongside the development of two new Queen's University Belfast City Centre Student Accommodation centres. The developments in September 2018 will become home to over 1,200 new students studying at the University for 2018-19.
25 January 2018
Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows Announced
Queen's University has appointed Jo Baker, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Peter Wilson, who performs as Duke Special, as the first Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows. The Fellowships will enable three writers annually to contribute to the activities of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry within the University and the wider literary community.
12 January 2018
New Black Taxi Jobs Announced
Funding to create 26 new Black Taxi driver jobs has been announced by Sinn Féin Councillor Ciaran Beattie. Cllr Beattie posted the news to his Facebook, and it is understood that the funding has been secured through Belfast City Council. A jobs fair for hopeful drivers will be held at Cultúrlann on 01 February.
04 December 2017
New Jobs Announced After Precision Medicine Centre Opens In NI
A total of 17 new jobs are to be created after a £10 million Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine launched in Northern Ireland. The new centre, launched at Queen's University in Belfast, will allow potentially costly drugs to be used more effectively by being prescribed only to those that can benefit from them.
22 August 2012
National Parks: Attwood Vs The Ulster Farmers Union
The Ulster Farmers Union have come out against plans for national parks in Northern Ireland. It follows a meeting they had with Stormont's environment minister Alex Attwood earlier this week where they discussed his department's plans to set up two national parks in either the Cauesway Coast, the Fermangh Lakelands or the Mourne Mountains.
30 May 2018
Dog Owners Urged 'To Be Careful In The Countryside'
All dog owners have been urged "to be careful in the countryside" following a meeting on the issue of dogs worrying livestock. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the Ulster Farmers' Union made the call amid reports of increasing incidents. Farmers are said to be concerned for the welfare of their animals.
16 May 2018
Balmoral Show Officially Opens
Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the first day of the Balmoral Show. Ireland's largest agricultural and food show is celebrating its 150th year. Organisers have revealed plans to mark this year and visitors have be invited to step back in time to see a Special Anniversary Display.
11 June 2018
Funding Announced For Emergency Care At Daisy Hill Hospital
A total of £1.65 million is to be invested to fund emergency care at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry. The money will be used towards transforming and modernising services and also strengthening the workforce, according to the Department of Health.
24 May 2018
Funding Announced For Voluntary Search And Rescue Groups
Funding of more than £80,000 has been awarded to nine voluntary search and rescue groups in Northern Ireland, the Department of Justice has announced. The support package includes a contribution of £41,000 from the Department for Communities.
03 May 2018
Two Major Road Improvement Schemes Announced
The Department for Infrastructure has announced details of two major road improvement schemes in Ballygowan and Newtownards. A £230,000 road improvement scheme on the C272 Carrickmannon Road and C367 Church Hill, Ballygowan will begin on Tuesday, 08 May.
01 September 2010
Study Into TB In Co. Down Cattle Announced
A study into the spread of TB in cattle is to start soon in County Down, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew has announced. The Minister said: "This TB Biosecurity Study is important and I encourage the support of those farmers who are selected to participate in this valuable research.
16 February 2017
Countryside And Farmers Remain Soft Targets For Criminals - UFU
The countryside and farmers remain soft targets for criminals, according to the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU). The UFU said it will continue to push the police to focus more to tackle the issue following the latest statistics from NFU Mutual.
09 November 2016
Business Development Group Applications To Reopen To Agriculture Sector
Applications to the Business Development Group (BDG) are due to reopen to the agriculture sector on 16 November, Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced.
19 February 2016
Agriculture Minister Hears Concerns Over Gold Processing Plant
The Agriculture Minister, Michelle O'Neill, has attended a community meeting in Greencastle, Co Tyrone, to listen to their concerns about a planned gold processing plant in the area.
29 March 2018
PM To Visit NI In UK Brexit Tour
The Prime Minister is visiting Northern Ireland on Thursday, 29 March, to say that the UK will be strengthened after Brexit. In a statement, Theresa May said: "I am visiting all four nations of the Union to hear from people across our country what Brexit means to them.