England, Scotland and Wales will get their own separate budgets to prevent and tackle animal diseases and look after animal welfare, agriculture minister Jim Paice announced today.
England, Scotland and Wales will get their own separate budgets to prevent and tackle animal diseases and look after animal welfare, agriculture minister Jim Paice announced today (March 14).
Budgets will be devolved from April 2011 and have been shared based on historic spending and animal numbers. For 2011/12 Scotland and Wales will each have £21million, and England £105m to spend on animal health and welfare.
Animal health and welfare funding is spent primarily on preventing, controlling and eradicating exotic and endemic diseases, notably bovine TB, and ensuring high standards of animal welfare.
Mr Paice said: “England, Scotland and Wales have had policy responsibility for preventing and tackling animal diseases for a long time, so I have worked with my colleagues in the devolved administrations to ensure that each country will now have their own budget.
“We already work closely on our policies on animal health and welfare. We will work even closer to protect Great Britain from animal disease outbreaks and ensure the best welfare standards possible.”
Research and surveillance will continue to be centrally funded to maintain scientific capacity and capability in Great Britain. Each administration will identify their needs and jointly decide what research and surveillance to commission, and will work closely with Northern Ireland.
- Northern Ireland already has policy and financial responsibility for animal health and welfare and will remain unaffected by this agreement.
Welsh rural affairs minister Elin Jones said: “Discussions to devolve animal health and welfare budgets have been on-going for over two years, and I am very pleased with this settlement.
“We have had policy responsibility for animal health and welfare since 2005, so budget devolution was a logical next step. It was especially important to secure these budgets for Wales now. This makes sure we are in the best position to continue to develop policies that are reflective of our needs and which support the objectives of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.
“In doing so we will continue to work with the other administrations across GB so that we are always ready to combine efforts to effectively manage any future animal disease threats and minimise the risks to us all.”
“It is important that the budgets have not been split through the usual Barnett process but that we have agreed a position that is more reflective of needs. Overall, over the four year period of the settlement, Wales will receive around 14% of the GB budget identified for devolution.”
In the event of a disease outbreak, all countries will continue to work very closely together to ensure the most effective measures are taken across Britain.