Red tape cuts will save £70m, says Paterson

Speaking yesterday at the Oxford Farming Conference, secretary of state Owen Paterson announced that cuts to red tape will save farmers and taxpayers £70m, allow businesses to flourish, and help prevent disease.

“Farmers will not be able to seize the very real opportunities that exist both domestically and internationally if we don’t free them up to do so, if we don’t get out of their hair,” he said.

From 2016, the Defra minister plans to allow sheep farmers to increase the size of their farms, so they can move livestock around without needing to report it, while the need to report grazing on temporary land within 10 miles will also be removed. Animal movements will be traced more efficiently, helping to control the spread of diseases.

“Our farming industry is a cornerstone of our economy, but for too long farmers have had to operate within overly complex rules and requirements,” he said.

A number of confusing rules currently govern animal movements. However, Paterson announced his intention to simplify how livestock holdings are defined, as well as scrapping cattle tracing links and Sole Occupancy Authorities.  

“This change to the system for reporting animal movements will save farmers and taxpayers millions of pounds, while increasing our resilience to animal diseases,” he said.
 
This follows the recommendations made by the Farming Regulation Taskforce, set up by Defra, to find ways of cutting the red tape that holds back the farming industry.

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