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.’

Farming Rules for Water Review

Defra has undertaken a short, targeted consultation on the Farming Rules for Water, aiming to gauge the level of knowledge of compliance with these rules across England.  In our CLA response, we highlighted that while there is a lack of awareness of the rules themselves, many farmers and landowners are nevertheless taking action to reduce pollution risks from their land.  This response was supported through a survey of CLA members.

Defining a new baseline and assessing the implications of change to SSSI reporting metric

Natural England consulted on a change to the way Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) condition was measured and reported for official statistics.  The CLA response highlighted the risk of this change leading to negative impacts for land managers with SSSI land.  You can see the original consultation page here:

: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/natural-england/changes-to-the-measurement-metric-used-to-report-o/

Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes in England and Wales

The CLA has responded to the Government's consultation: Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes in England and Wales which most notably proposes the tightening minimum standards to EPC Band C from 2025 for new tenancies and by 2028 for all existing tenancies paired with an increase to the landlord cost cap to £10,000.

In our response, we highlight the unique challenge faced by off-gas grid, traditional rural homes and the serious impact these proposals will have on the rural private rented sector.  We raise a number of serious concerns, including the assessment methodology, the fuel-cost metric, the increased landlord cost cap and the timescale.

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