Action to reduce bureaucracy in Scottish agriculture

A new Advisory Board will be set up to help the Scottish Government cut farming red tape, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced.

The move is in response to Brian Pack’s Doing Better Initiative to Reduce Red Tape for Farmers & Rural Land Managers Final Report which has been published today.

The report contains 61 separate recommendations, the first of which is the establishment of an overarching Advisory Board to ensure that regulatory bodies in Scotland are strategically and operationally aligned.

Speaking at the Turriff Show Mr Lochhead said:

“I would like to thank Brian Pack and his team for the huge amount of work that has gone into this very thorough review. The final report and its many recommendations reflect the complexity of the legislation and regulation governing the rural sector and I will need time to consider these in depth.

“The Scottish Government is already taking steps to minimise the bureaucratic burden for farmers – such as the improved online service we are developing to make the new Common Agricultural Policy as accessible as possible – but it is clear we need to do more.

“I agree that there is a great deal of merit in our regulatory bodies having an integrated approach and the overarching Advisory Board will be the key to driving this recommendation forward and helping me implement the other recommendations in the report.

“That is why I have asked my officials to look into how and when establishing this new overarching Advisory Board can best be done, taking into account our current priorities of CAP implementation and the Futures Programme.”

Brian Pack said:

“Whilst today is really important for me, partly as the conclusion of considerable effort to identify ways to improve the farmer and land manager regulatory scene but mainly as the start of making a difference.

“It is the implementation of the recommendations that will improve the lot of farmers, land managers and regulators not producing a report. I am greatly encouraged by the Cabinet Secretary’s response and feel confident that with his drive behind the recommendations we will achieve a step change in the regulation of the Rural and Environment sectors.”

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