Cumbria Crack

Batch movement system for sheep kept in place thanks to NFU Cumbria challenge

David Raine

[F]armers in Cumbria would have been forced to record every single sheep moving between different parcels of land within the same business had the NFU’s North West Livestock representatives not challenged Defra’s policy to remove the valued exemption.

The movement exemption, which became under threat earlier this year, allows sheep movements between different holding numbers within the same business (provided the keepership does not change) to be reported as a batch rather than by individual animal.

Thankfully, because of the repeated submissions from the NFU both regionally and nationally to keep the exemption, Defra has announced that the within business moves exemption is to continue.

NFU’s Cumbria County Chairman David Raine said: “When the NFU’s North West Regional Management Board learned that this important exemption was under threat we seriously questioned the requirement to remove it arguing the change would not lead to any substantial improvements in traceability. Essentially it would have led to added bureaucracy for no reason.

“Defra had intended as part of the 10 mile rule to remove this exemption from the 1st of January 2018. Defra has announced that they are proposing to extend the current provision to permit batch reporting for within business sheep movements that stay in the same keepership. This will be communicated to all livestock keepers in November to coincide with the annual inventory.”

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