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Artificial breeding control: repayments for certain services
09/02/06

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 trade.

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 disease.

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 this test.

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.

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.

Notes:

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 AI legislation.

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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DEFRA
Department for Environment
Food and Rural Affairs