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New livestock movement rules in UK rolled out by Defra

Staff Writer |
Simpler rules on livestock keeping come into effect. Defra is cutting "red tape" by committing to simpler rules for livestock keepers to register land they use for animals.

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The new system for registering land on which livestock are kept will be rolled out progressively from Thursday until summer 2017.

Defra officials are contacting livestock keepers to help them transition to the new arrangements, with the first batch of letters for keepers set to be affected by changes due to be sent this week.

The letters will set out changes to the rules and the farmers’ options; farmers do not need to do anything until they are contacted.

The changes were recommended by the then coalition government’s Task Force on Farming Regulation five years ago. The Task Force was set up to simplify or do away with regulations and paperwork affecting farmers.

Under the old movement rules, farmers would have to report any movement of livestock beyond a five mile radius of their home farm, which would trigger a six-day ‘standstill’, preventing further movement.

There were also different rules for different species of animal. Under the new rules coming into force over the next year, farmers can move animals more freely within a ten mile radius, under a single County Parish Holding number and without standstills or the need to report movements.

Movements between holdings will still conform to the old rules - so standstills and reporting will need to be observed.

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