Farmers put forward ideas to Rip Up Red Tape

Farmers have started submitting their ideas on how red tape could be cut in agriculture.

Farmers Weekly is urging growers to respond to a consultation document from the Task Force on Improving Regulation.

The group has been set up to find ways to simplify farming regulations and help government slash costs by removing bureaucracy.

Farmers have already been discussing their ideas on our online forums FWiSpace.

Subjects identified as areas which could be tackled already include sheep identification and farm assurance rules.

Here is a selection of some of the comments so far:

Big-grey-open-quotesWhile there are a great many rules and regulations I’d like to see stripped away, what I’d most welcome is a moratorium on new ones – of any sort – so that I can get on with things knowing some random new rule isn’t just about Big-grey-close-quotesto leap out at me Once we have stability, transparency and consistency then we can look more closely at what isn’t needed or doesn’t work properly.

Big-grey-open-quotesLast weekend I used my trailer to move five lambs from one part of the farm to another. Afterwards regulations required me to wash out and disinfect the trailer. On Monday I took a tup, which had been living in the same paddock to the Sheep Event 2010. I was again required to wash out the trailer. The trailer stayed in the vehicle park at Malvern until required to transport the tup back home on Tuesday, and then be washed out again.

On Thursday the trailer was used to transport four sheep, including the tup which had been at Malvern, to Burwarton Show and home again, it was again required to be washed out. Through all of this nothing had been in the trailer but me and the sheep which live on my farm. How was my Big-grey-close-quotesbio-security improved by all that waste of water, disinfectant and straw? The answer is simple – it wasn’t and water which we are constantly reminded is a valuable resource, was required to be wasted for no valid reason whatsoever!

Big-grey-open-quotesSome weeks ago I wrote to the Better Regulation Task Force setting out the reason why the individual identification of sheep was unnecessary and served no purpose except for those breeders who wish to do so. I also pointed out that the  electronic identification (except for those who want it) is no practical benefit to the pursuit of public health. In short, take Big-grey-close-quotesaway the statutory need for the individual identification of each sheep and take away the statutory need for the electronic identification of sheep.
Peter Wells

Big-grey-open-quotesNVZ’s are another example of too much “dates, times and repeated record keeping” which is so often similar to other records which are being kept. I have years of NVZ records lying in my office drawer which have never been looked at or used. It almost makes it a pleasure to get down to doing my own:- management records, gross-margins, budgets and Big-grey-close-quotesplanning. These are my real and important records, and, with a simple list of national standards and guidelines, would serve to fill any quality assurance standard.
Ally R

Big-grey-open-quotesThis is an opportunity for us to get our message across to the authorities about these needless and onerous rules. I intend to write to them about the requirement to keep separate sheep movement books and complete records for each holding and send licences in for a movement 100yds down the road. It is an absolute nightmare, I would have all Big-grey-close-quotesmy land on one holding number if I could but it is impossible being cross border.

• Read what others have said and add your own thoughts on our Rip Up Red Tape forum.