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MEP vents anger as French pig farmers 'manipulate the rules'

by 5m Editor
23 April 2008, at 8:10am

UK - Scotland's rapidly diminishing band of pig producers is under serious financial pressure with losses in the region of 320 for each animal sent to slaughter. Last Thursday's meeting of the rural affairs committee of the Scottish Parliament accepted that there were major problems. Richard Lochhead, rural affairs secretary, promised to set up a task force to investigate what the Scottish Government could do to help – but there was no offer of hard cash up front.

The position in France is somewhat different, with the government introducing a range of measures. Struan Stevenson MEP has raised this with Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU agriculture commissioner.

In a written question where he detailed the background, he said: "On 14 December 2007 the French government announced that it was to set up, for pig farmers in financial difficulty, a 3 million (£2.4m) tax rebate fund and provide a similar sum for reduced loan rates.

"On 23 January 2008 the French government announced it would double the tax rebate and increase the loan subsidy fund to 10m, which corresponds to 70m in loans for producers.

"Can the European Commission provide assurances that this financial aid will not place pig producers in other EU countries at a competitive disadvantage?"

Source: Business.scotsman.com

5m Editor