THE COUNTRY Land and Business Association has warned that the landscape could change dramatically because of the declining state of the grazing livestock sector in England and Wales.
 
In a report – A future for livestock grazing in England and Wales – the CLA outlines the important function played by grazing livestock in maintaining some of the country‘s favourite areas of beauty and most memorable vistas.
 
The report, launched at the Royal Show at Stoneleigh, Warks, highlights the role of grazing livestock in supporting many species of wildlife and as a sustainable method of land use.
 
It also covers the role of livestock in supporting small rural economies by way of local markets, livestock markets and promoting the countryside as a favoured tourist destination.
 
But the CLA says grazing livestock is “a sector in peril” and warns that the introduction of the decoupled single farm payment could trigger further cuts in animal numbers.
 
The report says there needs to be a more co-ordinated approach towards policy for the farming of grazed livestock to ensure the sector can thrive and become profitable.

The vision put forward in the report by the CLA is that there should be an accessible network of abattoirs, livestock markets and processing facilities.

This would allow farmers to develop a wide range of products and markets and increase the value added, it says.
 
The report calls for a closer relationship between government and the industry with a more streamlined approach to bureaucracy to reduce the regulatory burden on producers.
 
Finally, the document also suggests there should be a sensible and time-managed approach to introducing the right-to-roam so there is a minimal impact on livestock management.