Weekly Overview: Cuts to 'Red Tape' Promised for UK Farmers

GLOBAL - Speaking last week at the UK's Oxford Farming Conference to leaders from the food and farming industry, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has outlined her hopes for a reduced regulatory burden on farmers when the UK leaves the European Union, saying this should help them to get on with growing food.
calendar icon 9 January 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

Dealing with red tape and farm inspections is estimated to cost the industry £5 million per year and the loss of 300,000 hours. The Government will be consulting industry later this year on areas they would like to see reformed, and how a more common sense approach could be applied.

In a keynote speech Andrea Leadsom said: "For too long, a bureaucratic system which tries to meet the needs of 28 countries has held farmers back.

"By cutting the red tape that comes out of Brussels, we will free our farmers to grow more, sell more and export more great British food whilst upholding our high standards for plant and animal health and welfare. My priority will be common sense rules that work for the United Kingdom."

However, Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, said the regulations that Ms Leadsom labelled as 'red tape' form important safeguards for the environment and animal welfare.

Mr Taylor, who is also the Green Party’s Animals spokesperson, said: "Andrea Leadsom has again attempted to vilify EU safeguards by labelling them as ‘red tape’ and, most concerningly, promising to scrap the vital protections. The ‘red tape’ the Environment Minister is threatening to cut is currently protecting our rural environment, our biodiversity, our soil, and the welfare of farm animals."

In other news, research done by Canada's University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Centre has found that less than 50 per cent of piglets actually consume creep feed when it is presented in its traditional form.

The researchers wanted to see if enrichments or a different creep feed tray could be used to increase the number of piglets consuming creep feed by taking advantage of piglets tenancy to explore.

The study showed that tray feeders were used the most. Frequency at the feeders increased with age of the piglets. Litters provided with tray feeders and no enrichment had the most piglets eating creep and the feeder type or enrichment did not affect average daily gain.

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