After the anticipated Animal Health Bill was left out of the recent Queen’s speech, DEFRA has now given official confirmation that it intends to publish a draft version in January.

The Bill will establish a new independent body for animal health in England and marks the start of the legislative process for DEFRA’s controversial responsibility and Cost Sharing (RCS) plans, which could see gamefarmers paying a new tax towards fighting outbreaks of animal diseases.

According to the Game Farmers’ Association (GFA), the Government’s divisive plan to introduce a levy on poults would equate to approximately 12p per bird. There would be a mandatory insurance levy of 8p plus 4p per gamebird towards
the poultry sector’s research and surveillance fund. The tax would be applied each time a gamebird is sold, either as a day-old chick or a poult.

The rest of this article appears in 16 December issue of Shooting Times.

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