Disease levy no longer a done deal – Radcliffe

The imposition of disease levies on all farmers in England is no longer a “done deal”, according to the woman who chairs the government review into cost and responsibility sharing on animal diseases.

Rosemary Radcliffe told the British Veterinary Congress in Glasgow on 25 September that there had been a significant shift from the previous administration’s position a year ago.

“The [previous] government thought it could slap a levy on every animal. We’ve moved a long way from that piece of nonsense,” she said. “There was a feeling a year ago it was a done deal and a draft bill was on the way. No more.”

Ms Radcliffe insisted her review group’s proposals were still a work in progress and that the target date for the publication of the review was 13 December.

She added it would be a “bold step” by the government if the recommendations were put it in place.

“It’s not signed, sealed and delivered but the overall objective is to reduce the risk and cost of animal disease and improve the welfare of animals.

“It is also to improve the effectiveness and value for money of policy and delivery and open communication channels to animal keepers. The key job is to build trust and consensus,” she said.