CLA welcomes more farmer say on animal disease control
The CLA says it welcomes the government's proposal to give farmers a major say on animal disease control, but is wary of a proposed levy.
The rural economy experts say farmers should be given more control over the way that disease control is managed because Government cannot be relied upon to get it right.
CLA President William Worsley said: "Just look at FMD and Bovine TB. There have been too many examples of poor decisions and grossly excessive costs being imposed on both the industry and the public purse.
"We were horrified two years ago when a bio-security lapse in a Government institution was responsible for a foot and mouth outbreak. It resulted in enormous costs being imposed on the industry, which was also suffering from economic stress and the arrival of BTV.
"Accordingly the CLA strongly supports the proposal to find a better way of sharing decision making. We think the decisions will be better, and the overall costs reduced.
"However we remain concerned about the intention to impose a levy on farmers to meet the costs. Farmers already pay significant sums of money on bio-security, vaccination and other measures to keep their stock disease free."
Mr Worsley added that the government needed to acknowledge that disease control measures already impose significant costs on farmers and rural businesses. Movement controls freeze commercial transactions resulting in losses for farmers, their suppliers, the animal markets, abattoirs, transporters, meat processors and others in the food chain.
Any levy would have to be structured to take account of all the costs involved and not just the effect on the public purse.
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Christopher Price is the Director Policy and Advice at the CLA. He has overall responsibility for managing all the CLA's national policy and advisory work. He makes sure that the organisation's policy work is focused on what matters most, and that members' queries are dealt with accurately and efficiently. A planning and environmental lawyer by background, he joined the CLA as public law adviser in 2002. He became Chief Legal Advisor in 2007 and took up his current post a year later. Before coming to the CLA Christopher worked in local government for a number of different authorities.
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