Farmers Weekly Interactive report that farmers are “angered” by government clearance for grouse shooters to use infected areas.
Despite the fact we’ve been kept off them for the past 4 months, grouse blasters and their minions will be allowed onto moorlands covered by exclusion orders. The Swaledale Sheep Association said the decision to license shooting in infected areas was “totally unacceptable” and “It makes nonsense of all the precautions farmers have followed for months – and increases the risk of spreading foot-and-mouth,”.
The government has responded by saying that shooters won’t actually be allowed onto or near infected premises, and that the industry supports a total of 279 jobs which must be protected.
The Moorland Association, which supports the government, said shooting would take place only where there was a negligible risk of spreading the disease. So why aren’t these area’s open to the public?
It’s very hard not to go completely apoplectic at this point, but let’s just say there’s a lot more than 279 livelihoods being affected in the tourist and outdoor industry by restriction laws that are now being dropped purely on account of the priviledged group involved.
Anyone eager to hear news of where you can ride in North Yorkshire should have a look at their access map but note that though the map promises blanket re-openings in some areas these will be gradual, limited and only in effect from midnight tonight onwards. We wrote to them asking if they could let us know which trails might be open in advance, so riders could plan on using them this weekend, but we haven’t had a reply.