Complete FW’s short survey on cost sharing 

Junior DEFRA minister Lord Rooker will hold a meeting at the Royal Show on Thursday (3 July) where he will be asking farmers to offer their views on government plans for cost and responsibility sharing when it comes to animal health and welfare issues.

The plans have caused controversy in the industry with farm leaders pointing out that unless producers are given a real say over how the money is spent, cost sharing is not something they are prepared to accept.

They have said there is a lack of trust in DEFRA, which can be partly explained by the government’s failure to tackle the issue of TB. Previous attempts at government/industry partnerships have also failed, in truth, to be a partnership, they say.

But government is seemingly pushing on with the strategy. Lord Rooker told Farmers Weekly last month: “It hasn’t just appeared out of the woodwork, it was on the DEFRA agenda since the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak.

“We don’t just want to reduce DEFRA’s costs, but also the industry’s costs, and we can’t work in isolation to achieve this.”

So what are your thoughts on the issue of cost sharing? If cost sharing is introduced, should only livestock farmers pay or should it involve anyone who benefits from the livetsock sector, such as arable growers or consumers? Share your thoughts by completing our short survey.

Alternatively, add your comments to the discussion thread in the forums.

Read Lord Rooker’s full interview.