NFU Scotland and other UK farming unions have told Defra officials
today in London that direct talks with Defra Ministers on proposals
for sharing the costs of animal health and welfare policies must
now take place.
Last week, NFUS warned Defra against trying to impose animal
health costs, including a disease levy, on the industry and going
back on a promise to give industry a far greater say in policy in
At today’s meeting with officials, industry representatives
reiterated that discussions could not continue unless Ministers
committed in forthcoming legislation to either establishing a joint
industry/government policy making body or delaying cost-sharing
proposals until such moves to share responsibility came about.
Industry will meet Ministers next month to discuss the issues
with them directly.
Speaking from London after the meeting, NFUS Chief Executive Andy
“We were told today by Defra officials that they recognised
“Defra Ministers are clearly isolated as both industry and
devolved administrations are clear that a November timetable for
legislation without a commitment to a bigger industry say in policy
is unworkable and unacceptable.
“We have told officials that we want to meet Defra Ministers,
who ever they may be following the likely reshuffle, next month.
We want a serious discussion on the next steps, bearing in mind
we have been sitting round a table with officials for six months
and thought there was a mutual understanding of where we were heading.
That understanding was completely undermined by signals that Ministers
were now planning to press ahead with cost-sharing without giving
industry what it had been promised.
“Ministers need to come to next month’s meeting with
an open mind and hear first hand how seriously we view any attempt
to impose costs on industry and back-track on promises to share
responsibility on policy-making.”
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