Plans for a new independent animal health body have been put on hold by the UK’s new coalition Government, and could eventually be dropped.

The new administration is committed to the principle of sharing responsibility for animal disease, but ministers have made it clear they want to formulate their own plans in their own time.

A draft bill was published in January. The newly elected UK government, however, has made commitments to reduce expenditure this year by GBP6 billion (US$8.75 billion), and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, which originated the new scheme, will contribute GBP162 million to these cuts.