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Increase in sheep dip costs must be ‘urgently reviewed’

New figures have revealed more than 40 per cent of sheep dip disposal costs are tied up with indirect permitting costs and charges.

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Increase in sheep dip costs must be ‘urgently reviewed’

The figures, obtained by the NFU through a Freedom of Information request, found more than £1150 of new permit application costs were used for indirect permitting costs such as IT, head office and legal costs, while £390 of renewal applications was spent on indirect charges.

 

The union – included in a cross-industry group with the National Sheep Association and others – used the figures to target Defra and the Environment Agency to reconsider its decision to increase the cost of sheep dip disposal permits, which have already seen a rise of up to 590 per cent.

 

It called on the departments to ‘urgently enter productive discussions with the industry’.


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NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said: “If this situation continues, I believe there could be serious implications for the long term health and welfare of our sheep.

 

“We need a solution that recognises that we must minimise our environmental impact but do so in a way that improves our animals’ health and welfare.

 

Urgent

“We urgently need a joined up approach across Defra.”

 

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker added: “The situation for farmers is that they are faced with a sharply increased cost and have no choice but to pay to ensure the welfare of their animals.

“This decision needs quick and serious consideration from government – we are still awaiting a response to our concerns.”

 

Members of the cross-industry group include: the NFU, NSA, Sheep Health and Welfare Group, Sustainable Control of Parasites, National Association of Agricultural Contractors and Bimeda.

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