Consultation closes 30 Jun 09. Details
Defra proposals would provide for a levy of £10.50 a horse, £4.80 a dairy cow plus, £1.20 for beef animals, 82p a sheep and 4p for poultry and gamebirds. The Countryside Alliance has pointed out that these costs could be applicable to each owner, rather than each animal, so for instance, in the case of game farmers and shoots, each bird would be paid for twice. Then on top of that there is an as yet uncalculated sum for insurance to cover compensation in the event of a disease outbreak.
Combined Cattle* £2.50
*Given that beef and dairy cattle face the same disease threats, and the industries are closely linked, there is a clear argument for having a single levy rate applied to both sectors.
** The consultation asks if horses should be included.
I have submitted a response, which expresses the views I outlined in my post of 5 Jun 09. I remain concerned that the target for this fund raising is wrong in the uplands. Hill farmers cannot be expected to provide further subsidies to government! The farmers in the south west of England are fond of saying "It is difficult to be green, when you are in the red". The same sentiment applies to other levies and drains on already struggling hill farm enterprises.