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United Front on Livestock Issues

by 5m Editor
9 June 2010, at 8:26am

UK - Livestock representatives from the UK and Irish farming unions have agreed they will continue to work together to secure a strong and fully funded Common Agricultural Policy, following a meeting in Edinburgh.

The regular meeting, which involved members and staff from NFU Scotland, NFU England and Wales, NFU Cymru, the Ulster Farmers’ Union and Irish Farmers’ Association, also condemned Europe’s decision to re-open trade talks with the South American Mercosur trading block and expressed concerns about the impact that such talks could have on the UK and Irish livestock sectors.

NFU livestock chairman Alistair Mackintosh said, “There was a commitment that we will continue to work together to secure a strong and fully funded CAP budget which is essential for the livestock sector in the context of the debate on CAP and Single Farm Payments post-2013. The farm organisations across the UK and Ireland were very clear that the SFP must be fully protected and paid to active livestock producers going forward.

“The UK unions and the IFA also expressed total opposition to the recent decision by the EU Commission to reopen trade talks between the EU and the Mercosur countries. The European livestock sector needs the full support of the EU Commission to meet the challenges of climate change and food security. Re-engaging in these negotiations is contradictory to EU agricultural policy, which demands, amongst many things, that producers farm with increasing efficiency in order to reduce the effects of climate change while producing meat to the highest of animal health and welfare standards.

“Allowing an increase in beef imports from Brazil and other South American countries compromises the demands placed upon European farmers. It is unfair to farmers and consumers that meat may be imported into the EU from countries where the same standards are often not met.

“European consumers expect safe, affordable food produced to the highest environmental and animal health standards and UK and Irish livestock producers deliver on this demand consistently."