Pig Welfare Aid Amounts to BGN20 Million23 April 2014
BULGARIA - Tatyana Angelova, Deputy Executive Director of the State Aid directorate and the SAPARD programme at the State Fund Agriculture (SFA), announced that the first tranche of financial aid for welfare of pigs and poultry has amounted to BGN 20 million under each scheme.
In an interview with Bulgaria's FOCUS News Agency, Ms Angelova said that the applicants have to be farmers having registered [farms or bases which breed animals] in line with the Veterinary Practices Act.
According to Ms Angelova, it is important that the applicants do not owe debts to the SFA and the state budget and the number of kept animals corresponds to the capacity of the farm.
"They undertake a 5-year engagement [to secure] the welfare of pigs and poultry and are obliged to observe all the additional requirements ensuing from this engagement," she said.
When asked about when the filing of applications starts and the length of the process, she said that they can be filed from 14 to 30 April and that farmers can do so at the SFA district directorates according to the permanent residential address of physical persons and sole traders and [according to] the registration address of juridical persons.
Ms Angelova said: "The aid under the two schemes compensates for the additional expenses farmers have to secure the welfare of animals. For example, under the scheme for pigs this includes securing bigger space for each animal, which leads to a reduction in the number of pigs and, respectively, to losses resulting from revenues which are not earned.
"Another requirement concerns securing artificial light for 11 hours a day, which leads to an increase in expenses for lighting. Poultry welfare requires drinking water and food rich in amino acids and plant proteins, which leads to additional expenses, too. Besides that the applicants under the two schemes will have to regularly test in a laboratory [the qualities of] fodder and make sure grains are properly kept."
According to Ms Angelova, the allocated resources under the schemes amounted to a total of BGN 15 million in 2012. Last year’s budget amounted to BGN 22 million under each of the schemes. In 2014 the first tranche [of the aid] at the amount of BGN 40 million will be paid by 20 May, which means BGN 20 million under each scheme.
When questioned about what interests she expected the applicants to display, she said that most inquiries have been made on the part of new beneficiaries which have not applied so far.
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