Hunts were told yesterday they could apply for temporary registration to the National Fallen Stock Scheme (NFSS) to collect dead animals (fallen stock) from farms.

The temporary registration is an emergency measure put in place for a countryside staggering under the threat of foot-and-mouth.

On Thursday, Alistair Jackson at the Hunting Office slammed DEFRA for causing chaos in the countryside. He said Britain’s farms were littered with dead animals.

“You can only pick up fallen stock if you are on the NNFS,” he said. “Very few hunts are registered and even fewer farmers are — it just didn’t catch on when it was launched.”

But on Friday, DEFRA permitted hunts to temporarily join the scheme — for an inspection cost of about £60 — and pick up a backlog of animals lying dead on farms.

“It is not possible for hunts to feed any meat obtained from carcasses,” said Mr Jackson, “but we have been promised this situation will remain under review.”

Hunts are still banned from collecting fallen stock in the FMD protection and surveillance zones. But yesterday (10 August) DEFRA granted special permission to farmers in the zones to bury dead animals on their land.

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