10 Mar 2009 02:14 PM
Livestock market roadshow to give farmers face time with Defra

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (53/09) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 10 March 2009

Farmers will have more opportunities to discuss their views, ideas and concerns with Defra staff at this year's Livestock Market roadshow.

The UK-wide tour, beginning on 13 March in Hexham and Exeter, will consist of visits to more than 80 markets throughout the year, giving farmers the chance to talk directly to government representatives about areas that affect the industry.

Farming Minister Jane Kennedy said:

"I really hope farmers take this opportunity to talk to Defra officials about their concerns or raise issues - we're there to listen as well as provide information, and I'm looking forward to attending one of the roadshows myself.

"I know for a fact that farmers feel very strongly about the direction their industry should be heading, and this is an excellent opportunity for them to speak face to face with government.

"Last autumn Defra visited 77 markets and spoke to more than 3,200 farmers. Over the course of this year we'll visit more than 80, meaning more farmers will be able to share their views on their own turf."

The topics farmers are likely to raise at the markets are as diverse as Bluetongue, electronic identification of sheep, nitrates, bovine TB, Classical Swine Fever; Avian Influenza and the impact of climate change on agriculture.

Notes to editors

1. For the official schedule of the Livestock Market roadshow, see: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/control/markets/index.htm

2. For further information on any of the above topics, please visit the Defra website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/index.htm

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