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HLS sees start of 10,000th agreement

Natural England has announced that HLS has seen the start of its 10,000th agreement which signifies a "major landmark". This sees HLS covering more than 977,000 hectares of land in England. Further information is available on the Natural England website.

Fraudsters targeting SPS 2012 payment recipients

The RPA and the Welsh Government have issued warnings of fraudsters targeting recipients of SPS 2012 payments. It seems that telephone calls are being made by people claiming to be the farmer's bank, asking for banking details. Please see the RPA website for further information.

2012 SPS Entitlements Statements available to view on SPS Online

The RPA has made 2012 SPS Entitlements Statements available via SPS Online. They may be viewed even if the 2012 SPS claim was submitted on a paper SP5 form, although there are a "small number of cases" where the Entitlements Statements may not as yet be available due to ongoing work. Further information is available on the RPA website.

Government agreement on energy policy

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed that the Government has reached a Coalition Agreement which will see the introduction of the Energy Bill next week. Further information is available on the DECC website.

TFA Cymru launched

The TFA has launched a dedicated service for tenant farmers in Wales. TFA Cymru will focus on representation and policy work in Wales. A TFA Cymru Recommended Professionals panel has also been established. Further information is available on the TFA website.

Badger cull postponed

DEFRA has confirmed that the proposed badger culls in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset are to be postponed until summer 2013. Further information is available on the DEFRA website.

New GOV.UK website replaces Directgov and Business Link from 17th October

From 17th October, a new Government website GOV.UK will replace the Directgov and Business Link websites. This should not affect the use of services such as SPS Online or CTS Online which can be accessed via either the new GOV.UK website or the former Business Link webpage addresses. Further information is available on the RPA website.

Euro exchange rate set for 2012 SPS payments

The RPA has confirmed that the Euro exchange rate to be used for the calculation of 2012 SPS payments will be €1 = £0.79805 (SPS 2011 saw €1 = £0.86665). The rate is the last one set by the European Central Bank in September. Further information is available on the RPA website.

Badger Trust loses Court of Appeal challenge against badger cull

It has been reported in the press that the Badger Trust has lost its appeal against the badger cull in England. The rejection was unanimous at yesterday afternoon's Court of Appeal hearing. Further information is available on the BBC and Farmers Guardian websites....

David Heath MP replaces Jim Paice at DEFRA

Further to our news report yesterday, it now seems to be confirmed that David Heath MP was appointed yesterday as Minister for State for DEFRA, replacing Jim Paice MP. His ministerial portfolio is yet to be made available. Please see the DEFRA website for further information.

Wales appoints Chair for Welsh Single Environmental Body

The Welsh Government has announced that Professor Peter Matthews will chair the new Single Environmental Body in Wales. This Body is to bring together the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission for Wales as a single organisation from 1st April 2013. Further information is available on the Welsh Government website.

CAAV Model FBT now available

The new CAAV Model Farm Business Tenancy agreement, plus a Commentary text and Check List, are now available to CAAV members to download from the website.

CTS Online - service resumed

The RPA has confirmed that following the issues being experienced with CTS Online last week and the shutdown of the system over the weekend, it is now fully functional. Further information is available on the RPA website.

RPA - Cattle Tracing System (CTS) Online issues

The RPA is experiencing issues with Cattle Tracing System (CTS) Online. Even though CTS Online is working, any cattle information entered since the morning of Tuesday (24th July) has not yet been processed. The RPA is hoping to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Please see the RPA website for further information.

CTS Online unavailable from tomorrow (Saturday) lunchtime

Following technical difficulties being experienced with CTS Online, the RPA has confirmed that the system will be unavailable from 12 noon tomorrow (Saturday) with the aim of restoring the full service from Monday. For further information, please see the RPA website.

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