Simplifying farming regulations


Some aspects of a farm and farmer’s work need to be regulated. This is usually because of public or animal health and safety, or to protect the environment.

These rules shouldn’t place an unnecessary burden on the farmer or get in the way of them doing their job. Any regulations should take into account the needs of farmers.

That’s why we’re taking a close look at the rules to see where they can be simplified. We believe a minimal weight of regulations will help create conditions for a strong rural economy.


Farm inspections

We’re looking at how we can better target and co-ordinate farm inspections. As part of this, where possible, farmers who consistently demonstrate high standards will be inspected less. Read more about how this will work.


We’re planning to reduce the amount of paperwork farmers will have to do.

Livestock movements

We’re looking at how we can make it easier for farmers to move livestock.

Our environment

We’ve helped create the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. This gives farmers reliable advice on what they can do to protect the environment.

Regulation: taking a more consistent approach

We intend to make farming policies more consistent, effective and transparent, and improve our understanding of the farming industry.


The Farming Regulation Task Force published its report in May 2011. It suggested over 200 ways of reducing red tape for farmers.

We published our response to the report in February 2012, saying we would reduce the burden of regulations on farmers and other food processors.

We also established the independent Farming Regulation Task Force Implementation Group in February 2012. The group oversees the work of both government and industry in carrying out the commitments made in response to the task force report. The group published an assessment of progress in February 2013.

In response to the Implementation Group’s assessment, we published an action plan This sets out some actions that we’ll carry out throughout 2013 - and beyond - to reduce red tape for farmers.

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