DEFRA has launched a fresh drive to cut red tape in farming and will seek views on how best to implement CAP reform in England so it is simple for farmers.

DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson has called for views on how the government can make regulation less burdensome across the whole of the farming and forestry industry.

“For too long, businesses have been held back by complicated, unclear or outdated regulation,” he said.

“We are cutting out the time businesses are investing in unnecessary red tape, freeing them to focus their resources on growth.”

DEFRA insists work to reduce the regulatory burden on farming is already under way through the implementation of the recommendations of the Farming Regulation Taskforce.

The taskforce, which was led by Richard Macdonald, delivered its report to government in May 2011. But in a progress report published in February 2013, the taskforce admitted that many farmers had seen little or no reduction in the amount of bureaucracy they face.

However, the government insisted that the new Red Tape Challenge review will build on the work already being done by reviewing the regulations, not just their delivery.

“A particular focus of this review is to ensure that EU regulations do not impose disproportionate burdens on UK businesses,” said a statement.

“Farmers have the opportunity to share their views on EU legislation in order to inform the UK’s negotiating strategy on the new EU frameworks for animal health and plant health.

“DEFRA is also seeking views on how the new Common Agricultural Policy can be implemented in England in ways that are as simple, affordable and as effective as possible.”

Mr Macdonald said the better regulation group had been working with DEFRA for more than two years to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers.

“This is a welcome additional opportunity to get input from the industry on how to further reduce that burden. I would encourage all farming organisations and individuals to participate.”

Contributions are invited through the website: www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk or email address: redtapechallenge@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

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