‘Fairer system’ British farmers to be handed cash payments in major Brexit breakthrough

Farmer says he does ‘everything himself’

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Farmers will be given payments to cover veterinarian visits in what has been labelled a “Brexit dividend”. The covered check-ups will occur annually and will last for between two and three hours.

Farmers will be given set cash rates to cover checks for cattle, sheep and pigs.

They will then be free to negotiate rates with a vet of their choice.

As such, the results will be kept between the farmer and their vet.

They will not have to be shared with the Government.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs official described this new system as “fairer” than the one which preceded it.

They, quoted in the Mail on Sunday, said: “Outside the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, the UK is designing a new, fairer farming system.”

This, they added, will aim to work “in the best interests of British farmers”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice also told the paper the scheme will enable farmers to check their animals more often rather than only in times of absolute need.

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He said: “Too often farmers only call a vet when there is a crisis, but with an annual vet visit to develop better animal health plans, they will see both animal welfare and their farm profitability improve.”

Under the scheme, farmers will be given £684 per visit for check-ups of pigs, £436 for sheep, £522 for beef cattle and £372 for dairy cattle.

The funding will be available from next month.

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Reports suggest it will expand over time to cover other animals, including goats.

A Government source told the Mail on Sunday the scheme will not only help British farmers in the sense they will receive cash payments to cover costs, but will also keep their herds more healthy.

They said it will mean “less disease and healthier cattle”.

It was suggested the money formed part of “levelling up” plans to help those farmers who, in the past, have struggled covering the cost of visits from veterinarians.

Plans will be announced in full by Mr Eunice at the National Farmers’ Union annual conference this week.

He is expected to express his drive to “support livestock farmers in producing healthier, higher welfare animals, through financial assistance”.

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