Rory works with local vets for industry reform
Rory met with local vets at Frame, Swift and Partners Veterinary Practice in Penrith to discuss issues affecting the industry both locally and nationally, and to better understand where reform is needed.
Given the importance of agriculture to the local economy and to local communities, Rory Stewart used the occasion to again discuss the issues of Bovine Tuberculosis and wider animal disease surveillance to establish what more Government can be doing to help local farmers. Local vets were supportive of the MP’s efforts to date on these issues and welcomed his suggestion of annual testing and post-movement testing as a pilot scheme in Cumbria in an attempt to replicate the successful Scottish “TB-free” campaign.
The meeting also offered an opportunity to discuss wider veterinary and animal welfare issues as well, and Rory Stewart agreed to work with representatives from the veterinary practice to also address compulsory micro-chipping for dogs, reform of the Dangerous Dogs Act and slaughter house standards in the UK. The MP was made aware of real concerns over the impartiality of slaughter house inspectors, and the need for tighter regulation and monitoring, and has committed to help secure needed reform within the industry.
Rory said: “I am extremely grateful to be able to hear the insights of vets who work out on the front line in helping to ensure our local livestock are fit and healthy. The past 18 months have been unbelievably difficult for our farming communities, and a significant part of this is down to a rise in livestock diseases. The chance to hear a vet’s perspective on events is extremely valuable therefore.
Britain can rightly boast to have one of the best animal welfare records in the world. It is particularly alarming however to learn of practices in our slaughter houses which would fail to meet our high ethical standards and expectations. I have agreed to work closely with vets in today’s meeting to ensure this issue is raised at the highest level in government to bring about any necessary reform that would ensure a more accountable and humane practice.”