In brief : 11/02/05

biofuel increase

FRANCE IS set to treble its production of biofuels by 2007, farm minister Dominique Bussereau has announced. Under the plan, 320,000t of bioethanol and 480,000t of biodiesel will benefit from tax breaks in the next few years as part of a drive to get 5.75% biofuels into all fuel by 2010.

zero tolerance

THE GOVERNMENT is reminding producers that it will soon have a policy of zero tolerance on overdue bovine TB tests. DEFRA has issued a warning to farmers that from Feb 17 movement restrictions will automatically be imposed on cattle if their routine TB tests become overdue.

els launch set

DEFRA HAS confirmed that the Entry Level Stewardship scheme will be launched to English farmers on Mar 3. The ELS will enable farmers to earn up to 30/ha (12/acre) if they meet basic environmental standards. Farmers who want to deliver higher levels of environmental management and get higher payment rates will be able to apply for Higher Level Stewardship.

access rights

LAWS PROVIDING new rights of responsible access to the countryside in Scotland came into force this week. The legislation puts a duty on landowners to provide access across their land, and gives people more freedom to enjoy the countryside, announced deputy rural development minister Lewis Macdonald. But he added that, in return for the rights of access, the public must act responsibly.