DEAR SIR: The farm safety action plan 2021-2024 has just been launched. It is a deeply disappointing, depressing document. Once again, we in the farming community have been badly let down by our Government, civil service, farm organisations, academics and the safety industry. They are not exactly reinventing the wheel here. I am old enough to remember the farm safety action plan 2009-2012. A far superior document, it contained not just laudable goals, but realistic steps to try and achieve them.

This plan though contains a lot of wishy washy stuff like Objective 1: “To establish farming as a recognised and valued professional occupation.” Great, but what exactly does that entail? What level are we at now? What steps are to be taken to achieve this goal? There’s certainly nothing in what I’ve read that might enlighten me. This is a plan designed to pump resources into the health and safety fraternity, academia and consultants. Farmers would probably be better served if they used the 2009 plan again. The 20 or so of us who will die in a horrible accident every year deserve better in any case.