The woman heading up Defra Secretary Michael Gove’s review into the farm inspection regime has promised to look at the burdensome bureaucracy around TB after a plea from Farmers Guardian.
Dame Glenys Stacey agreed to see what she could do to reduce the amount of paperwork farmers have to deal with when FG raised Phil Latham’s case with her at a Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum event last week.
In May, dairy farmer and NFU county chairman Mr Latham called for a wholesale simplification of the administration around TB after receiving 23 letters in one day about his breakdown in February, when 11 reactors were found.
He claimed this level of bureaucracy was stalling progress on disease eradication, because it was putting farmers off taking part in enhanced measures designed to stamp out TB.
Asked if she would look at how this burden could be reduced in future, Dame Glenys said: “The administration of the scheme is predominantly in the hands of an agency, the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
“I had not considered looking at it, because it is basically a systems issue, in fact probably a systems and investment issue, but now you have raised it, I might have a little poke around.”
Dame Glenys was appointed to carry out the inspection regime review earlier this year after Mr Gove branded the inspection regime too ‘unwieldly’.
Her probe found more than half of all Government visits to farms are about disease checking, with 45 per cent related to TB alone.