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Co-funded Disposal Scheme for Irish Pigmeat Agreed

by 5m Editor
19 December 2008, at 10:14am

IRELAND - The EU countries have given their backing to further exceptional market support measures for the Irish pork market in line with the Presidency conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 11-12 December 2008.

Last week the Commission already introduced, as an urgent support measure, a private storage aid scheme for up to 30,000 tonnes of pigmeat.

That EU-funded storage scheme, which was formally adopted by the Commission today, covers meat coming from pigs reared in Ireland on farms that have not used any contaminated feed.

In addition, in view of the particularly difficult market situation in Ireland, the Commission has now proposed a further exceptional market support measure in the form of a disposal scheme for animals blocked on farms that have used contaminated feed as well as for certain pigmeat stocks held in slaughterhouses or still owned by the slaughterhouses.

The EU will co-finance the purchases at an average rate of 50 per cent.

Now, the management committee has backed a private storage aid scheme for Northern Ireland.

Under this scheme, up to 15,000 tonnes of pigmeat can be stored for up to 6 months in Northern Ireland. The scheme follows the same approach as that introduced last week for Ireland.

"This is another concrete example of how the European Union can help Irish farmers at this difficult time," said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

"We hope that co-funding the destruction of affected meat will help bring this problem to a rapid conclusion and assist farmers who face financial difficulties."

The aim of this EU co-financed disposal scheme is to further contribute to the various measures already taken by the Irish authorities, and thus to remove the relevant animals and products from the market.

The regulation on the disposal scheme provides that the financial compensation paid to the suppliers of the animals and of the pigmeat should be based on the market value of the products concerned.

The Irish authorities have taken various precautionary measures to recall from the market all pigmeat and pigmeat products produced from pigs slaughtered after 1 September 2008 in Ireland and temporarily suspend the marketing of pigmeat. This action follows the recent findings of elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in some pigmeat originating in Ireland, which has been attributed to the distribution of contaminated feed from a single manufacturer.