LONDON – Jim Paice, UK Agriculture Minister, announced this week that England, Scotland and Wales will get their own budgets to prevent and tackle animal diseases and maintain animal welfare. Budgets, which have been shared based on historic spending and animal numbers, will be devolved from April 1.

Animal Health and Welfare funding is primarily spent on preventing, controlling and eradicating exotic and endemic diseases, primarily bovine TB, and ensuring high standards of animal welfare, Paice said.

“England, Scotland and Wales have had policy responsibility for preventing and tackling animal diseases for a long time, so I have worked with my colleagues in the devolved administrations to ensure that each country will now have their own budget,” he added. “We already work closely on our policies on animal health and welfare. We will work even closer to protect Great Britain from animal disease outbreaks and ensure the best welfare standards possible.”

Research and surveillance will continue to be centrally funded to maintain scientific capacity and capability in Great Britain. Each administration will identify their needs and jointly decide what research and surveillance to commission and will work closely with Northern Ireland.

All countries will continue to work closely together to ensure the most effective measures are taken throughout Britain in the event of a disease outbreak.