Profile - Animal Health and Welfare Committee

Victor Chestnutt with Desmond Fulton and Andrew McCammond
Victor Chestnutt with Desmond Fulton and Andrew McCammond

In the coming weeks, the UFU wishes to profile its policy committee chairs and vice chairs following on from the recent AGMs so that our grass root members and industry stakeholders are aware of who best to speak to on issues affecting their particular commodity.

The UFU’s policy committee chairs and vice chairs have an important role to play within the organisation and the wider industry.

They attend policy meetings with industry representatives to address key issues and they also help formulate policy decisions and communicate these to the UFU’s membership.

The new chair and vice chair of the UFU’S Animal Health and Welfare Policy Committee are as follows:

Chairman – Desmond Fulton from Ballymoney is a member of the UFU North Antrim Group. Dessie has farmed on the family farm for over 40 years in North Antrim. The farm consists of about 350 acres. Dessie keeps 90 suckler cows taking the progeny through to beef which are supplemented by the purchase of some stores. The beef are sent to Linden Foods but the Cull Cows would mainly be sold in Ballymena Market. Dessie has always been a strong supporter of the UFU and has served two terms as the North Antrim Group Chairman. He has also served on the UFU’s Beef and Lamb committee for many years and also sits on the UFU’s Executive Committee.

Commenting on his new role Dessie said: “Looking to the future is always difficult but amongst our priorities will undoubtedly be TB. The UFU will have to forward a strong case for TB in the wildlife reservoir to be dealt with and ensure that farmers are not overwhelmed with unnecessary restrictions. I feel that BVD will need careful attention and the risks associated with the importation of livestock will need continual highlighting (Bluetongue). The risks to our intensive sector from diseases (Avian influenza) spreading through Europe from Africa and the Far East are obvious and even with excellent bio security the harbouring of disease in backyard flocks causes great concern.”

Vice Chairman – Andrew McCammond from Templepatrick is a member of the UFU South Antrim Group. Andrew farms with his wife Wendy and four daughters. Andrew keeps 250 suck cows to beef and farms on a mixture of lowland and LFA Land. Andrew has served as vice chairman of the UFU South Antrim Group and sits on the UFU Beef and Lamb and Executive Committees.