Red tape strangling livestock keepers'
PUBLISHED: 13:52 07 October 2008 | UPDATED: 08:27 28 March 2014
People are leaving the agricultural industry in droves because of the lack of income and the continued threat of new and unnecessary regulations such as electronic identification (EID), according to the National Sheep Association.
The NSA has urged the Government to recognise “the irreplaceable benefits which sheep and the people who look after them bring to the economy, the environment and the fabric of our rural communities”.
It says there is an overwhelming need for an injection of funding into the sheep industry which must happen very soon to arrest the decline. This would help to rebuild and manage the national flock.
George Milne, of the NSA, said: “Once sheep and the sheep farmers have gone, it is extremely unlikely the sheep and skills of the people who tend them can be reintroduced.”
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is calling on the EC to let the UK decide for itself about introducing EID for sheep and goats.
The call follows a recent survey by RBST which shows that the proposed EU regulations may endanger the future of the UK's rare sheep and goat breeds.
A survey of RBST livestock members suggested that 56% of respondents expected to abandon keeping sheep and goats within the next three years.
Almost a third of keepers, 32%, said that the proposed EID was a factor in their intention to disperse their flocks. A further 34% said increasing bureaucracy underpinned their decision.
MORE: www.nationalsheep.org.uk or www.rbst.org.uk