With the recent news of the General Election being brought forward, I thought I’d share what I have been told by farmers on how Brexit will have an impact on them as well as the veterinary community.
Speaking to a dairy farmer his comments were:
- He was in favour of brexit
- The control of TB can be managed without being banned from vaccination under EU law
- Currently if vaccinations we administered to the cattle, the EU would bar imports of British beef – which he feels would not be a bad thing as it would mean we wouldn’t need to import beef either from the EU
- If we didn’t import so much from the EU we can produce our own beef and control numbers without being told how much to import/export
- He hopes that a vaccination programme could eradicate bovine TB in Britain within a decade
Another beef farmer I spoke to has concerns that as a cause of Brexit, TB testing costs will have to be covered more by farmers, and testing may be forced to occur more frequently
An article I found by Philip Case on Farmer’s Weekly had some interesting points. These outlined the effects on different areas of farming.
Subsidy reform beyond the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy which implements a system of subsidies and other programmes)
“As things stand, the EU contributes £2.9bn to the UK via the CAP and its related subsidies, yet our estimated net contribution is more than three times that, at £9.8bn. Thus, unconstrained by EU rules, the government will now be in a position, if appropriate, to increase rural payments.”
“There are an estimated 67,000 seasonal workers of non-UK origin, chiefly from eastern European countries inside the EU, in UK agriculture. Owen Paterson says UK government must reintroduce a seasonal agricultural workers’ scheme post Brexit
Combating animal and plant disease
“By retaking control of our borders, we can implement a system with the kind of rigour found in Australia and New Zealand, to the benefit of our animal and plant health. This will ensure the safety of British trees, plants and animals for generations to come.”
This is one of the areas that may affect vets and vets of the future.
A Farmer’s Weekly Reporter writes:
FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “We have long been calling for the creation of a post-Brexit UK agricultural framework, and discussions between UK and Welsh government have been frustratingly slow.
The NFU said it would use the next seven weeks in the run-up to the general election to ensure that all parties engaged with the food and farming community.
Jeremy Corbin has said he will raise minimum wage to £10 an hour but with farmers already struggling, as we are not ‘Buying British’ is this going to be possible? Having a strong insight into the hard work that goes on in this community, these workers must be there to ensure the farms function properly. If farmers are paying their workers more, will they be forced to make cuts to veterinary costs (e.g. Health Clubs) that they know are causing their farms to grow and perform better?
One thing is certain with the whole Brexit process…no one is sure what is going to happen! Young farmers and aspiring large animal vets are all concerned what will happen to our field of interest but it seems the Farming community is doing all they can. My frustration is, although we understand the benefits and drawbacks of Brexit, young people my age cannot vote to get their opinions across in such as important topic – one which will massively impact our future!