Animal health budgets have been cut dramatically in due to a mix-up at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). According to Farmers Weekly, council leaders have been told to cut animal health budgets because funding that was promised does not actually exist.

Animal health budgets are used to fight diseases such as Foot and Mouth and Bluetongue.

Local animal health teams had been promised £9.77million by the government?s Divisional Veterinary Managers, but there was only ever £8.5m available in the DEFRA budget, according to local government watchdog the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS).

This loss of animal health funding will result in a cut to budgets of up to 12%. LACORS? chairman, Geoffrey Theobold, has written to Defra, saying: ?It is simply unacceptable that, at a time when resources are being stretched to breaking point by Foot and Mouth disease and bluetongue, government should force local councils to pick up the pieces caused by its own mismanagement.?

According to Farmers Weekly, the animal health budget cuts will be imposed mainly on the largest councils, according to Defra, in order to protect smaller communities.

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