Achieving the sustainable management of wild deer in England

This joint Defra/Forestry Commission consultation covers possible changes to legislation, provision of advice, disease and animal welfare issues, stalker training and future requirements for deer management. In our response we have drawn attention to the need for deer impacts on biodiversity to feature more, reinforced the need for suitable research and monitoring and endorsed the provision of co-ordinated advice and support for landowners through the work of the Deer Initiative in which the CLA are partners.

 

Defra consultation on the future shape of conversion aid

The response stressed the need for conversion aid to be continued at least at the current level and that unimproved grassland should continue to be eligible although some differentiation between enclosed and unenclosed land could be explored. We do not support restricting aid from some farm types in order to favour production currently in short supply because this goes against the policy for a more flexible agriculture and also requires Government to predict future markets. However we do agree to the idea of providing future conversion payments through the organic strand of the new Entry Level Agri-environment Scheme with the conversion aid paid as a top-up. The CLA feels that with uptake of the Organic Farming Scheme currently running below 50% of the target and the uncertainty over markets an attractive conversion package is essential to give farmers more confidence to commit to this demanding and valuable farming system.

 

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