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THE Government has announced that most of the animal health and welfare budget for Great Britain will be devolved from April 1 this year.
The devolved administrations have had the powers to set their own individual animal health and welfare policies for some time; however, the associated budgets have been retained by Defra. The new budget settlements – announced by Jim Paice, the agriculture minister, on March 14 – have been based on historical spending and animal numbers.
For the 2011/12 financial year, Scotland and Wales will each have £21 million to spend on animal health and welfare, while the English budget will be £105 million. Over the course of a four-year agreement, the amounts received annually by each country will decrease in line with decreases in Defra's overall budget, with Scotland receiving a total of £76.98 million, Wales receiving £77.71 million and England £387.93 million. …
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