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Suffolk: Red tape cuts could hit Suffolk bloodstock trade

07:56 17 June 2014

David Ruffley MP for Suffolk Magazine feature.

David Ruffley MP for Suffolk Magazine feature.

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Efforts to cut red tape could backfire and hit Suffolk’s world-class bloodstock industry, the Government has been warned.

Ministers have been told that plans to scrap rules which require owners to report outbreaks of two
contagious equine diseases, could deter traders around the world from exporting UK horses.

Contagious equine metritis (CEM) and equine viral arteritis (EVA) are currently on the list of notifiable diseases, which means they have to be reported to the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).

But Defra is proposing to scrap the status as part of the Government’s “red tape challenge”, which was set up to “save businesses time and money in needless regulation”.

But Richard Lancaster, chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, said the full implications of any change needed to be thoroughly assessed.

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley, who has raised the issue in the House of Commons, said: “The removal of notifiable disease status for contagious equine metritis and equine viral arteritis is causing much concern in the world-class bloodstock industry in this country.”

During Defra questions, he asked minister George Eustice if he was aware that the export of horses from the UK to Hong Kong, India, Qatar, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries was likely to be hit because notifiable status was a prerequisite for horses in those countries.

Mr Lancaster said: “The Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) is acutely aware of how the recommended changes into the removal of notifiable disease status for contagious equine metritis (CEM) and equine viral arteritis (EVA) would impact on trade and veterinary issues affecting breeders both domestically and internationally.

“The British Breeding Industry makes an annual contribution of £281million to the economy and it is therefore vital that this proposal is looked at and the full implications of any change assessed thoroughly.”

Minister George Eustice said he had asked officials to look at the matter closely “to reassess the impacts on the trade, and to investigate alternative ways forward, such as burden sharing with the industry”.

It comes after David Cameron declared in January that his was the first government in modern history to reduce overall domestic regulation for business while in office and 800 regulations had already been abolished or simplified.

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Ipswich’s role as the county town of Suffolk is being questioned, with some suggesting Bury St Edmunds is more deserving of the title.

Arlington’s Brasserie, in Ipswich, has an historic link with the women’s suffrage movement and next week it will host a celebration of International Women’s Day.

A new push is underway to recruit more ‘on call’ firefighters to make up a shortfall of around 40 across the county.

TV antique experts will be at a Suffolk estate today to film an episode of Flog It for the forthcoming series.

Highways England chiefs have said an update on whether the Orwell Bridge will be open or closed to drivers today has been delayed again until around 9.30am.

An unlicensed driver must pay more than £2,500 in compensation after damaging a work colleague’s car before causing a crash and driving off.

Highways England chiefs have said the Orwell Bridge is “highly likely” to close between 10am and 6pm today with gusts of up to 65mph expected on the A14.

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