Farmers' claim on bullying of young vets is denied


A CLAIM that young vets who want to work the proposed new bovine TB scheme, are being intimidated by the Irish Veterinary Union has been rejected by the IVU president, Mr Tom Hanley.

The claim, made by Mr Liam Egan, chairman of the IFA's animal health committee, has been described as completely untrue by the IVU president.

"This kind of wild statement is an indication that the IFA is losing its argument on the new scheme. As far as I am aware there are very few young vets around. They all leave the country, mainly to avoid having to test animals," he said.

Mr Hanley said the IFA had not consulted its own members and opted for a scheme which abolished the mandatory testing of animals before moving them.

"It is very clear from a series of meetings we have attended that farmers want pre movement testing and the IFA has been caught offside. That is the basis of the allegations now being levelled at us," he said.

He said the IVU would again meet Department of Agriculture officials this week to see if progress could be made on the proposed scheme due to start on April 1st.

Public meetings would continue and the IVU would outline its opposition to what is being proposed in relation to the abolition of pre movement testing.

He said that the IVU is seeking an increase in testing fees for work vets would be asked to do by the Department.

In his statement last Sunday, Mr Egan said the IVU was "hell bent" on shafting non union veterinarians who were prepared to co operate with the Department's new TB testing plan.

"Indeed there are indications that intimidation of young vets who are canvassing for testing has, already started."

He also accused the IVU of mounting a propaganda campaign to maintain the compulsory 60 day pre movement test.

Last week the Department sent out forms to the 15,6,000 herd owning farmers asking them to nominate the vet they would ask to test their herd this year.

Under the terms of the new scheme farmers will select and pay the vet for a mandatory annual test but will not have to test animals before moving them off farm.

Farmers are being offered cuts in levies and savings of £5 million if they operate the new system.