Defra promises red tape rethink

UK - A promise by DEFRA that it will reduce the burden of red tape on farming and give clearer guidance on forthcoming legislation has been generally welcomed by farm leaders.

But concern has been expressed at the lack of regulations so far identified for attention and at plans to introduce levies to share the costs associated with an outbreak of disease.

Called Partners for Success, the new farm regulation and charging strategy for England was presented on Monday (28 November) by junior DEFRA minister Lord Bach.

The discussion document proposes ideas such as shifting responsibility for reporting cattle movements from farmers to livestock markets, reviewing assurance schemes to end duplication and simplifying information requests for the June census.

Lord Bach explained that the new approach was not about ending the cycle of regulation, but about introducing regulation that is better thought-out, more effective and more efficient.

"We want to free farmers to do what they do best," he said. Tim Bennett, NFU president, said the strategy was good news as it signalled a new direction for government and a willingness to consider alternatives to regulation, such as voluntary schemes, training and education.

But Mr Bennett stressed he was unhappy about the prospect of farmers being charged a disease levy, as the government had responsibilities here too.

Source: Fwi
calendar icon 5 December 2005
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