UK: NFU changes to EPS rules welcome but do not go far enough
MAFF's announcement on Friday (13 October) that beef and sheep farmers whose holdings are under disease movement restrictions will be able to claim the Extensification Payment is good news, says the NFU.MAFF is to implement the recently agreed European Commission provision to allow producers subject to movement restrictions to reduce their stocking densities by 20%, to help them remain within the qualifying limits for payments.But NFU Deputy President Tim Bennett said that the NFU is extremely disappointed the Commission provision fails to take on board NFU concerns that the measures do not go far enough to cover the serious impact of TB.He said: "TB movement restrictions are extremely damaging to many farmers in England and Wales with the problem getting worse all the time."We have pointed out to the Commission that TB farms are under restriction for an average of 207 days - more than half of the year. "We believe the reduction in the stocking density should be closer to 50% rather than the 20% in the provision."We will continue to lobby the Commission on this issue and seek changes to the rules for future scheme years."
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