“The dangers posed by Agriculture is a very serious subject, so I was pleased to meet with Mr Rick Brunt who is Head of Agriculture at the Health and Safety Executive,” said Bill Wiggin MP.
North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, on 9 April, sought to improve the quality of data recorded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in connection to fatal accidents involving live animals.
The HSE record details of almost every sort of accident but were missing important facts when it came to people who were hurt or seriously injured by cattle.
Mr Wiggin said: “The Minister, Mike Penning MP wanted Mr Brunt to meet me to see if we could make progress.
“I’m pleased that Mr Brunt and I both agreed the criteria I listed in my Bill were the ones that should be recorded.
“He has decided to see what could be done internally rather than wait for my legislation.
“With or without my Bill I shall be more than happy if Health and Safety Inspectors record details such as: TB testing, presence of a dog, breed of cattle and the proper circumstances and ages of cattle, details of those injured; whether a right of way was involved, whether the person was trespassing, and any other relevant and useful information.
“What we are all concerned with here is reducing the risk of serious injury, or worse death, and learning the lessons from past accidents.
“It will take time for the database to build up but I hope that this will help with the decisions taken now and in the future to cut the risk to farmers, their families and people enjoying the countryside.
“I felt the meeting was both positive and useful, and I am now hopeful that Mr Brunt will be able to deliver better statistics in future and that Health and Safety will be more useful to all of us, including supermarkets who put pressure on farmers to deliver without knowing what the Health and Safety implications may be.
“Once we have some facts we can also expect the consumer to play a part in keeping Britain’s farmers healthy and safe and the countryside open.
“Currently with the debate on badger culling going on and the pressure to TB test, the risk to farmers of injury is significant. It is very easy to forget this risk in the heat of a debate but those of us who keep cattle, like me, can use their experience to make sure that Government remembers the very real risks to the farmer, their families and those who live and work in the countryside.”