The change to the stocking density rules relating to donkeys under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme was introduced following consultation with the farming bodies and other relevant stakeholders. Applicants can now only use donkeys to fulfil 50% of their stocking requirements under the scheme. This change was introduced on foot of consideration of issues relating to animal welfare concerns and the role of the scheme in supporting active farming in eligible areas.
Following the agreement of this change with the farm bodies, the change in the requirements for the 2020 scheme was signalled to all applicants in the 2019 Scheme terms and conditions. This was in order to give applicants a full year to adapt their stocking practices where required. The remainder of the stocking requirement can be made up using cattle, sheep, goats, horses or deer.