Derek speaks up in Parliament to get justice for St Just butcher

MP Derek Thomas hopes that a speech he delivered in Parliament on Wednesday will finally bring about changes to the Bovine TB compensation scheme after a lengthy battle to get justice for a St Just butcher.

Mr Thomas was contacted by Randall Olds from family butcher Vivian Olds Ltd more than a year ago following a case involving the small abattoir at the rear of his premises.

Mr Olds had been ordered by a judge at the Small Claims court to pay £1,500 to include the value of the meat and the cost of disposing of the carcass after a bullock bought into the abattoir for slaughter was condemned by a Government vet.

The vet made the decision after identifying a number of lesions on the carcase, a strong indicator of bovine TB.

Mr Thomas, who has been in regular contact with both the Justice Department and DEFRA in a bid to resolve the case, said: “If you shop at Vivian Olds, you can be sure that the meat you purchase is locally produced, the welfare standards are as good, if not better, than any other abattoir and you are getting some of the best meat money can buy but in this case the vet took the only decision available to him.

“Unfortunately, the bovine TB scheme does not pay for an animal suspected of carrying bovine TB after it has been slaughtered.

“The judge said that because Mr Olds had received the goods, he had to pay yet the truth is he was little more than a bystander and had no say in the matter.

“It can’t be right, as in this case, that the owner of a small abattoir should have to pay for meat which he can’t use – and neither can he or she afford to.”

Mr Thomas asked for the Minister to change the rules relating to Bovine TB compensation to include farmers when a TB reactor is identified by a vet at the abattoir and also requested that Vivian Olds was compensated for the £1,500 already paid out.

The request comes at a time when DEFRA is reviewing the strategy for eradicating bovine TB in England and the compensation scheme is part of the review process.