NPA opposes Brussels plan to cut slaughter payments

UK - We think you may be breaking your own rules if you fail to pay "swift and adequate" market value compensation when animals are compulsorily slaughtered, NPA has told Brussels.
calendar icon 19 September 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
National
Pig
Association

National Pig Association
THE VOICE OF THE UK PIG INDUSTRY

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.

Protesting at the European Commission's hasty plan to slash foot-and-mouth and swine fever slaughter compensation by 25 percent, NPA says the introduction of temporary measures from next year will cause "confusion, unnecessary costs and disruption".

And it is concerned that the burden of the cuts will fall on larger farming businesses "as animal diseases do not distinguish between companies of different sizes".

With the enthusiastic support of countries such as Britain, the European Commission wants farmers eventually to stump up most of the cost of compulsory slaughter. Meanwhile it has a free hand to introduce stop-gap measures because it has delegated powers to decide what forms of aid are allowed and how much should be paid.

NPA says it would rather the present compensation arrangements stay in place pending the outcome of the European Union's review of animal health policy. " This would avoid a further modification in a short space of time, and any resulting confusion, unnecessary cost and disruption.

It does not agree that limiting compensation will provide an incentive for disease control. "On the contrary, we are concerned that failure to pay full compensation will in fact be strongly demotivating to producers, and may compromise the efficiency of disease control measures.

"Moreover, we would question whether the changes proposed are compatible with Articles 2 and 3 of Regulation 349/2005 on the Community financing of emergency measures, which state that the Community will pay swift and adequate compensation of the market value of the animal in connection with the compulsory slaughter and destruction of animals."

The Brussels proposals are expected to have the following effects:.

  • Limit aid to small and medium-sized enterprises (turnover £6.7m- £29m).
  • 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 NPA is concerned about the plan to limit aid according to businesses size. It feels strongly this would create an unfair criterion, as animal diseases do not distinguish between companies of different sizes.

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