The Game Farmers’ Association (GFA) asked DEFRA to clarify its proposed levy on gamebirds at a meeting held on 2 June. The controversial Responsibility and Cost Sharing for Animal Health and Welfare Consultation, which closes on 30 June, proposes forcing gamefarmers to pay a levy of 4p per bird as well as a mandatory insurance premium to share the costs of future outbreaks of diseases such as bird flu and foot-and-mouth.

According to DEFRA, the predicted average annual cost of managing disease is £32.5million, which would mean the total tax on every gamebird would be 12p, not 16p as previously calculated.

A spokesman for the Game Farmers’ Association told Shooting Times that the clarification did little to reduce its concerns: “Together with the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, we put more than 30 areas of concern to the officials working on the responsibility and cost-sharing scheme. We explained how imposing more costs on UK game rearers could only lead to yet more gamebird imports and would be counter-productive in disease management terms.”

The rest of this article appears in 18th June issue of Shooting Times.

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