View Full Version : Vets sent on drumming workshops

Davie Tait
8th April 2009, 15:02

The government has been criticised for using taxpayers' money to send animal health experts on away days that included lessons in African drumming.

The Animal Health agency, which is responsible for fighting diseases such as bluetongue, spent about 500,000 on 15 country-wide one-day conferences.

They included drumming sessions for 1,700 vets normally on the front line of tackling diseases in livestock.

The agency said the events were to help staff speak with senior management.

The agency, which is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said staff took part "in a series of exercises which aimed to bring home the importance of effective working in an interesting, involving and fun way".

Participants then talked about what they had learned from the exercise "that would be applicable in responding to an outbreak of animal disease" - which is one of the agency's central responsibilities.

It's these useless Defra ministers who need their heads banging together to stop wasting public money
Nick Herbert
Shadow environment secretary

The Animal Health agency said overall feedback about the days was "strongly favourable".

But one participant is reported to have complained about vets being taken away from their jobs to play on drums at a time of spiralling bovine TB rates.

Shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert said: "It's incredible that when the nation's budget deficit is soaring and British farming faces a serious animal health challenge in bovine TB, the government thinks it's necessary to teach its vets how to play bongo drums.

"It's these useless Defra ministers who need their heads banging together to stop wasting public money and deal with this dreadful disease, which left unchecked is costing millions of pounds and increasing animal suffering."

I think this goes under the heading What the HELL are you wasting our money for category !!!