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Changes may mean more work to keep sheep

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

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PROPOSED changes to simplify livestock movements could potentially make keeping sheep more burdensome, the NFU has warned.

It comes following a meeting between members of the NFU, Defra and RPA that focused on proposed changes to the current livestock movement regime.

Topics discussed included CPH allocation, movement reporting requirements and the introduction of separation units as an alternative to whole farm six-day standstills.

Particular concerns were raised about plans to remove the derogation to batch record breeding ewe movements when keepership doesn't change which would lead to a requirement to individually record and report moves to a different holding number.

NFU livestock board chairman, Charles Sercombe said: "Defra have come up with a number of proposals that if implemented, will reduce the burden for some livestock keepers.

"I believe Defra have a real opportunity to radically improve the current regime, but I fear that unless changes are made some of the proposals could in fact increase the level of paperwork on farms, particularly for sheep producers.

"Batch recording of breeding ewes and the non-EID batch tag has significantly reduced the bureaucracy and cost of EID, and removing this will lead to a significant increase in operating costs for farmers.

"I hope Defra will take on board the real concerns of our members and that these are reflected in any future consultation on the livestock movement regime.

"The NFU livestock board will continue to work with Defra towards a simplified movement system that reduces the burden on farm while maintaining good traceability."

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