Press Release - AFU Grazing
7th February 2013
AFU’s with Grazing
The National Beef Association welcomes the decision made last week by the TB Eradication Advisory Group to advise the DEFRA Secretary of State Owen Paterson to continue with Approved Finishing Units with grazing.
This proposal by DEFRA vets to abolish AFU,s with grazing was placed before the farming industry in early January and came hard on the heels of the EU requirement to cease using Approved Quarantine Units [AQU,s] during 2013.
The NBA led the protest campaign enlisting the support of AFU with grazing operators and integrated calf rearing chain groups including Blade Farming , Meadow Quality and Farm Mark, the industry explained to TBEAG through its chairman Mr John Cross that many thousands of calves from TB restricted farms could not be economically reared without a period at grass and if this was not permitted the calves would be shot at birth losing a valuable resource and supply of beef in the medium term, struggling dairy farmers would also lose a valuable source of income.
The NBA argued that the risk of spreading TB infection from AFU’s was very small with no reported cases historically , calves or cattle would be Pre Movement tested and tested every subsequent 90 days minimising risk, the AFU,s with grazing can only operate within the annual testing areas so there is no risk of taking infection to new areas.