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More Financial Strain for Farmers?

Article Date: 6th December 2005

DEFRA has published a strategy document which indicates that the Government wants farmers to share more of the financial burden of disease outbreaks via the introduction of a levy on the industry.

In the document "Partners for success: a farm regulation and charging strategy" recently published by DEFRA there is a clear indication that the Government wants farmers to take more responsibility for disease outbreaks. This is unlikely to be welcomed by farmers since DEFRA wants to apply a levy on the farming industry to pay for the costs of dealing with future outbreaks of disease such as foot and mouth.

Many farmers are struggling financially at the moment and the imposition of what is effectively another tax will not help them. Animals on the farms which are financially burdened may also suffer since these "poverty trap" farmers cannot afford to improve animal welfare. Vets are called in less frequently to struggling farms and this in itself may predispose towards more problems when dealing with disease outbreaks. If vets are not on the farms (and increasingly they are called out less and less) then diseases such as foot and mouth may not be detected early enough to prevent their spread.

We would all like to avoid the harrowing scenes which many witnessed during the last outbreak of foot and mouth disease but I don't believe that making farmers pay out more money is the answer.



References:
Splitting costs one way: Veterinary Record, vol 157, No 23 p717
www.defra.gov.uk/farm/regulation-strategy

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All Rights Reserved | Content is provided for information only. All content on vetbase.co.uk is protected by copyright and therefore may not be copied without specific written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this website is based upon the opinions of Samantha Coe, unless otherwise stated. Individual articles, extracts, and any links to external sites are based upon the opinions of the respective author(s), who may retain copyright. The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified veterinary professional and is not intended as medical advice. The purpose of this site is the sharing of knowledge and information - Samantha Coe encourages you to make informed healthcare decisions for animals in your care based upon your research and in consultation with your vet.