Defra has found an error in legislation following a review of
the cattle and pigs Artificial Breeding Controls (ABC) Regulations
which meant that the department does not have an adequate legal
basis to charge for certain services.
All payments without an adequate basis which have been made over
the past six years will be refunded with interest. The regulations
are now being amended and updated to allow charges to be made.
The services are tests for campylobacter in cattle and exit and
follow-up tests on pigs. It also applies to a second series of
tests on cattle subject to semen collection for intra-Community
trade and pigs subject to semen collection for domestic and intra-Community
The second series tests subject cattle to testing for brucellosis,
infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, campylobacter foetus and trichomonas
foetus and subject pigs to testing for brucellosis and Aujeszky’s
The charges for these services are suspended with immediate effect.
Customers are to be refunded the fees collected for these services
for the six-year period prior to this suspension. Fees for which
there is a legal base will continue to be charged.
Defra has not imposed a charge for the second series testing on
cattle for bovine viral diarrhoea and so there is no refund for
Artificial insemination centres that are currently operating and
those that have closed in the last six years will be informed of
the changes. In most cases Defra will be writing to the ABC Centres
where the Centre has acted as an agent for the owner of a donor
Animal owners may wish to contact currently operating insemination
centres they have used in the last six years to discuss any repayment
issues they have.
Proposals for new Bovine and Porcine Semen Regulations (control
regulations) are being constructed as a result of the review exercises
on the current ABC regulations. As the current 1985 ABC Fees Regulations
have not been updated or amended
since 1992 - it is proposed new and separate Bovine and
Porcine Semen Fees Regulations will be introduced to bring charges
levied up to date and in line with inflation. Charges under these
new fees regulations will be both transparent and fair based on
charges to industry for official services provided under the new
The aim of the proposed new fees regulations is to achieve full
economic cost recovery, as required by Treasury Guidance, and will
be subject to cost sharing principles laid out in the Animal Health
and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain published by the Department
on 24 June 2004. The new fees regulations will come into force
concurrently with their associated control regulations in 2006.
Parallel reviews have been conducted for equivalent services provided
by the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales.
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