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Cross-compliance for outdoor producers

by 5m Editor
7 December 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Fears that cross-compliance rules could sound the death knell of outdoor pig production have been allayed with publication of Defa's Cross Compliance Handbook for England.

National
Pig
Association

National Pig Association
THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

As it turns out, the rules are not onerous for pig producers. For instance, they do not insist on the impossible, such as ground cover in sow paddocks.

However, to avoid jeopardising their (or their landlord's) single farm payment, all outdoor producers need to be aware of the cross-compliance rules insofar as they affect pigs. "There don't seem to be any bear traps for pig producers, but we should still make sure we are familiar with the Defra handbook, because ignorance of the law is no defence," advises Richard Longthorp, who represents NPA on CAP reform issues,

Cross-compliance issues that impact on outdoor producres

  • You must retain a copy of Defra's Guidance for Soil Management (which will be mailed to you).

  • In 2006 you will need to draw up a simple Soil Management Plan and follow it on your outdoor unit from 2007.

  • Mechanical operations are allowed on waterlogged soils when essential for animal welfare, otherwise keep off.

  • Burning of straw residues - could conceivably include farrowing hut beds? - is probably permissible as a disease control measure, but will need to be clarified.

  • You may have blocked rights of way in the past and got away with a telling-off, but if you do it in future, you will be in breach of cross-compliance.

  • You must take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of common ragwort, thistles and other common weeds.

  • Remember you must not shoot crows, pigeons and starlings without a licence.

  • Follow the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone rules (if you are in an NVZ).

  • Your details must be registered with Defra if you keep pigs and pigs must be properly identified (slapped) before leaving the holding.

To view the Defra Cross-Compliance Handbook, please click here (PDF)

Source: National Pig Association - 6th December 2004

5m Editor