14 February 1997

NFU welcomes badger decision

EASING of MAFF badger licences to enable farmers to carry on agricultural practices close to setts has been welcomed by the NFU.

Since 1992 farmers have had to apply to MAFF if they wish to disturb a sett, but the new regulations cut the red-tape involved.

There is now no longer any need for licence holders to notify MAFF each time interference has or will take place, and repeat licences are to be issued within five working days if the application circumstances have not changed.

Farmers will no longer have to submit details of operations to the sett but only when the licence expires.

Peter Rudman, NFU animal welfare spokesman, said the changes eased administration difficulties but that the union also wanted changes to badger removal licences which had yet to be forthcoming. &#42