Bovine Tuberculosis: call for views on possible future measures to accelerate disease eradication in England

The CLA have responded to this Defra call for views on possible future measures to accelerate the eradication of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in England. The CLA is supportive of the government’s drive to accelerate the eradication of bTB, though there is a need to strike a balance between effective disease control and maintaining a viable and productive sector. Whilst the CLA is supportive of some of the suggestions in this call for views, other ideas have not been sufficiently well explored in order to make decisions and more information is needed on both the practicalities and the economics. Decisions need to be justified, evidence based and the benefits made clear.

Proposals to help eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis in England

The CLA supports the UK Government’s 25-year strategy to eradicate bTB and welcomes the ‘new drive and concerted effort’ to reduce disease levels, referenced in the Godfray Review. This next phase, focusing on the development of a cattle vaccine in the next five years and improving diagnostic testing, is a positive step. We also welcome the intention to support livestock keepers in introducing improved biosecurity on their holdings and reduce high risk cattle trading between farms. However, we are deeply concerned that if culling is heavily restricted before an effective cattle vaccine is readily available, there could be serious consequences for businesses and farmer wellbeing.

The regulation of Genetic Technologies

The CLA has responded to Defra’s consultation on the regulation of genetic technologies. The consultation states that the government is looking to legislate to allow a specific kind of gene editing technology within the next 1-2 years. The CLA sees a number of opportunities presented by this new technology, though there are some important issues to be considered, as outlined in our response.

Revised National Action Plan for the sustainable use of Pesticides (Plant Protection Products)

‘The CLA has responded to the consultation on the draft National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP). The NAP aims to increase the uptake of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and sustainable crop protection in line with the devolved nations’ targets on biodiversity and net zero. The CLA is supportive of the high level aim of the plan and is an advocate for IPM, though there are some important issues to be considered, as outlined in our response.’

Briefing Note: Sustainable Farming Incentive Pilot 2021

Defra published information on the Sustainable Farming Incentive National Pilot on 10 March 2021.  This briefing summarises the Defra publication, with information on how the pilot will operate. The full Defra publication is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sustainable-farming-incentive-scheme-pilot-launch-overview/sustainable-farming-incentive-defras-plans-for-piloting-and-launching-the-scheme

RURAL POWERHOUSE

Rural Powerhouse

The Rural Powerhouse is a CLA campaign designed to unleash the potential of the rural economy. It aims to close the rural productivity gap, adding £43bn to per year while transforming the lives of millions of people who live and work in the countryside.

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