August 22, 2008
UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ( DEFRA) has proposed an annual fee to fund initiatives that would mitigate the effects of disease outbreaks.
An annual fee based livestock registration scheme would be used to raise an industry contribution for animal disease control, said a department spokesman.
DEFRA is proposing to consult on specific proposals later this autumn as part of the wider responsibility and cost sharing agenda, the spokesman added.
The UK is not the first to introduce such a scheme as several EU countries have iimplemented this for some time. Such schemes may range from voluntary private insurance with subsidised premiums in Spain to the use of bank guarantees in the Netherlands.
In Germany, animal disease funds are jointly financed by livestock producers and the state, a system favoured by the UK government.
The UK government is also considering the creation of an independent statutory body for animal health and welfare.
Currently, the UK government agency Animal Health is primarily responsible for ensuring that farmed animals are healthy, disease-free and well looked after. Farm leaders however, believe a government body that works more closely with farmers is vital if there is to be a true partnership between the farming industry and government.