Licensing laws introduced as a result of campaigning by the Country Landowners Association will make it tougher for thieves to dispose of stolen scrap metal, the CLA in the North claimed.
It said metal theft has a huge impact on rural businesses in the region, and often vital pieces of equipment or building infrastructure are stolen and sold for a tiny fraction of their value.
CLA North regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Farm machinery, lead stolen from roofs, and copper cable taken from phone lines all cause major problems to rural business and communities.”
The CLA’s Scrap the Cash campaign won a major victory with the passing of the Legal Aid Act earlier this year after CLA president Harry Cotterell met former Home Office minister Lord Henley to ensure cash payments by scrap metal dealers would be prohibited.
Miss Fairburn added: “We believe new regulation should only be put in place in certain circumstances.
“In this case, it is crucial to deal with the menace of scrap metal thieves.”