Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
Following a public consultation earlier this year, I am pleased to announce the launch of a new system for defining agricultural holdings (the County Parish Holding (CPH) identifier) and for registering temporary land in Wales.
The transition to the new CPH business rules will simplify the current system and establish consistent rules across species. This significant investment by the Welsh Government, benefiting farmers across Wales, will see the removal of complex rules such as Sole Occupancy Authorities (SOAs) and Cattle Tracing System links (CTSlinks), as well as the implementation of a 10 mile distance rule. This will allow livestock keepers the opportunity to control land parcels used for keeping their animals within an agreed distance of the main holding and to do this under one CPH reference.
The County Parish Holding (CPH) identifier is key in identifying and tracing the location of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs should there be a disease outbreak. Land parcels within a CPH will now be mapped, providing the Welsh Government and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) with an improved record of a holding. This will help disease prevention and outbreak control measures, benefiting keepers and the livestock industry as a whole.
The changes are being rolled out in Wales over a 2 year period. The approach we are taking focusses on the needs of individual keepers, revisiting their CPH allocation against the new distance rule and providing them with the option of rationalising their CPH.
Case officers in Rural Payments Wales (RPW) will be available to guide customers and the Farm Liaison Service (FLS) will provide additional support where required. Livestock keepers do not need to do anything until they are contacted by RPW other than to familiarise themselves with the planned changes and how to utilise those changes to best effect on their farms.
Removal of CTSlinks is a priority so from today, BCMS will no longer permit new applications for CTSlinks.
My officials, along with partner agencies such as APHA and the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS), will continue to engage fully with the industry, in particular through the Livestock Identification Advisory Group (LIDAG), to ensure all concerned achieve the maximum benefit from these positive changes.