Under DEFRA proposals livestock producers will have
to pay an annual fee so that farmers help finance eventual disease
A government consultation later this year is also likely to include the creation of an independent statutory body for animal health and welfare for England.
An annual fee based livestock registration scheme would be used to raise an industry contribution for animal disease control, said a department spokesman. "DEFRA is proposing to consult on specific proposals later this autumn as part of the wider responsibility and cost sharing agenda"
Elsewhere in Europe cost-sharing systems have been implemented for some time. European schemes range from voluntary private insurance with subsidised premiums in Spain to the use of bank guarantees in the Netherlands. But the UK government favours a German-style system, where animal disease funds are jointly financed by livestock producers and the state.
The UK government agency Animal Health is primarily responsible for ensuring that farmed animals are healthy, disease-free and well looked after. Farm leaders however, believe a more arms-length body is vital if there is to be a true partnership between the farming industry and government.