NFU calls for more protection as government launches drone consultation

Drone over farmland_20075

The NFU has issued a call for farmer feedback after the government announced a consultation on the safe use of drones in the UK.

We've welcomed the move and called for more protection for landowners affected by antisocial drone use.

Proposed measures being consulted on include mandatory registration of new drones over 250g, a theory test for users, increased penalties for misuse of the technology and potential new criminal offences to deter and address misbehaviour.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “There are exciting developments in the pipeline for on-farm done use, such as crop applications, which could keep British farming at the cutting edge and internationally competitive.

“However, we are also very aware of instances of irresponsible use of drones by members of the public and have already seen the first instances of sheep worrying by drones. We are calling for government to address this and are hopeful that any new legislation will introduce measures to protect farmers and landowners from this behaviour.

“In any instance, we would stress to drone owners the importance of not flying near livestock, who react in very unpredictable ways. There is risk of causing distress to the animals, sometimes fatal, and it can lead to trampling. These actions impact greatly on farm businesses and we urge that care is taken when flying in areas of farmland in particular.

“Any drone owner should be responsible with its use and ensure the safety of people, animals and land. We would stress to any owner that they are familiar with the rules so they fly this machinery within the law.”

Making YOUR voice heard

The NFU will be submitting a response to the consultation and would like to hear your views on the matter, whether you are an active drone user or are negatively affected by their antisocial use. Read the consultation here.

Last edited on: 13:01:2017

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