Cuts in slaughter payments planned

UK - Brussels is planning to slash foot-and-mouth and swine fever slaughter compensation to 75 percent of market value – and there are only a few days for the industry to protest, reports Digby Scott.
calendar icon 12 September 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

There is a fear the cuts would be a disincentive to the reporting of suspicious signs of notifiable diseases.

As the whole question of who-pays-what in the event of a disease outbreak is under review in Britain and other member states, Defra is concerned about the wisdom of Brussels rushing into a temporary new policy.

But matters of state aid are a Commission ‘competence’. This means the Commission has been given the power by member states to decide what forms of aid are allowed and how much should be paid.

The changes are due to come into force in January. If the pig industry wishes to object to the Brussels proposals it has only until this Sunday, September 17. NPA will likely be making its views known. Some individual producers may wish to do likewise by emailing Brussels at [email protected].

The Brussels proposals are expected to have the following effects:

  • Limit aid to small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • Limit compensation payments for animals slaughtered to 75 percent of the market value (80 percent in less favoured areas).

  • Limit compensation for animals slaughtered, to outbreaks of disease that result in a 30 percent production loss on the farm concerned.

The cuts could have a particularly adverse affect on attempts to control avian flu. Culling widely dispersed poultry populations is not logistically easy. If indemnities are not paid, or are lower than market prices, birds may be moved or hidden.

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