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Farm inspector sacked after comparing NFU chief to dictator

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 01, 2013

NFU president Peter Kendall who was likened to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Ill

NFU president Peter Kendall who was likened to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Ill

Comments (15)

A farm inspector from Somerset who tweeted critical comments about the badger cull has now been sacked after the National Farmers' Union (NFU) complained to ministers about her views.

Janice Holland had worked for the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) since 2001, visiting farms to ensure claims for agricultural grants were not being falsified. She made a series of remarks on Twitter suggesting she had serious concerns about animal welfare and that the cull was poorly conceived and executed.

Ms Holland, who has 22 years' service with government farming agencies, referred to Peter Kendall, the union's president, as "Kim Jong Kendall" – a reference to the North Korean leader and a name already in use among anti-badger-cull protesters.

Defra said the NFU was a "stakeholder" of Defra and the RPA, meaning staff should not criticise it in public. Labour MP Barry Sheerman said the sacking was "shameful".

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15 comments

  • eponymice  |  October 02 2013, 7:05PM

    @mmjames "The damage ARA's do in their ignorance" To be fair, what P J D Donnelly omits from his comment is that both sides are causing perturbation of all the wildlife, so perhaps your comment should read "the damage the cullers and the ARAs do, undoubtedly in full knowledge of the effect of their actions.

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  • mmjames  |  October 02 2013, 9:53AM

    The damage ARA's do in their ignorance http://tinyurl.com/nud5h5r

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  • Charlespk  |  October 02 2013, 9:20AM

    Keep the BCG for children where it's still effective, not for badgers where its effectiveness will be increasingly 'diluted'. https://http://tinyurl.com/qeu3jws (open in a new window)

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  • Charlespk  |  October 02 2013, 8:24AM

    People that display their ignorance about this subject so openly have no place as public servants, including MPs. . And anyone that believes 'opinion polls' amongst lay people or political activists has any place in medical or scientific decision making about human and animal welfare issues, is really in need of some serious help. The New Strategy. https://http://tinyurl.com/oh6sbo2 (open in a new window) The Facts. Badgers and bovine TB. The indisputable, historic, scientific facts. http://tinyurl.com/bw7jpxy (ppen in a new window)

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  • eponymice  |  October 01 2013, 10:27PM

    "Defra said the NFU was a "stakeholder" of Defra and the RPA, meaning staff should not criticise it in public." Whilst I appreciate that civil/public servants are duty bound not to publicly criticise their employer I think that it is absolutely appalling that Ms Holland was dismissed for commenting on a purely commercial body that is not (supposedly) a part of government. Is the implication that an RPA employee who criticised any other 'Defra stakeholder', for example the RSPB, would also be subject to disciplinary action? One wonders what guidance had been issued to Ms Holland and all the other staff of Defra and its associated bodies.

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  • Charlespk  |  October 01 2013, 9:25PM

    When you actually know anything about the M.tuberculosis genus and the BCG vaccine people may listen to you. . Repeatedly well known people and politicians of all colours display their shameful ignorance. And badgerists like yourself just continually quote the discredited rubbish from the ISG. The findings of people like Bourne and Krebs were discredited by the serious 'world' scientists who are really tackling the problem of TB long ago. Badgers and bovine TB. The indisputable, historic, scientific facts. http://tinyurl.com/bw7jpxy (open in a new window) They have NO answer to REAL science mmjames; just bluster. I thought Brian May looked pretty desperate today shaking hands with all those pitiful groupies.

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  • mmjames  |  October 01 2013, 4:52PM

    groundnut Tuesday, October 01 2013, 3:51PM Try The Times [Sat] and Dominic Kennedy.

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  • groundnut  |  October 01 2013, 3:51PM

    well the Brian May e petition was the largest ever recorded and compiled in the shortest time. If you cast a little wider than the "Western Morning News" you will find that the killing in the countryside is reaching other parts. http://tinyurl.com/m7grpvo

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  • mmjames  |  October 01 2013, 2:57PM

    groundnut Tuesday, October 01 2013, 11:11AM "MM james seems like you don't read the Western Daily News I doubt very much whether the majority of the [even English] public actually read the paper, let alone vote on one issue in it. But then less than 10% of the public voted on Brain May's e-petition and that had a lot of airtime!

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  • grannyonline1  |  October 01 2013, 11:30AM

    "Staff should not criticise it in public" And they object to the words,"Kim Jong Kendall"? I think the words she used are very apt. NFU seem to have gainned one hell of a lot of power to say who does what,where and when.

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