BPC welcomes partnership approach

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has welcomed a decision by the England Advisory Group not to implement a general disease livestock levy and the development of a new Partnership Board.

The plans were kicked into the long grass following the final report by the Advisory Group that was published this month. Instead, it recommended a full “value-for-money” review of the animal health and welfare activities of Defra, Animal Health and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

The final report also recommended  a partnership approach to responsibility sharing, an initiative that also has the backing of the BPC, and will lead to the development of a new Partnership Board.

Peter Bradnock, the chief executive of BPC, said: “This recommended approach to responsibility sharing is very much in line with the long-held position of the BPC in favour of an enhanced partnership model.

“The Poultry Sector is ready and keen to be fully engaged with Defra and other sectors in this positive new partnership. We are confident it is the right way forward.”

The BPC said that a review into animal health and welfare costs was urgent, because the Animal Health Agency and other parts of Defra were already near to introducing fees and charges to recover their full costs from livestock keepers and others.  

Bradnock added: ““While we agree in principle to reasonable charges for efficient and cost-effective services, it is vital that all moves to charging are based on accurate costings and are co-ordinated across the whole of Defra and its delivery agencies.

“This is recommended high priority for the new Partnership Board. There should be no new charges or fees levied until the new Partnership Board has completed the review and can judge the overall impact on livestock keepers.”

Members of the Partnership Board are being agreed upon now – and the body must have representatives from the poultry sector, added the BPC.

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