Farmers who are members of the National Fallen Stock Scheme will see higher collection bills after 1 Aug.

Government has agreed that the National Fallen Stock Company can implement the first stage of its planned decrease in the level of subsidy paid to farmers for the collection and disposal of fallen stock.

The discount given to members will be reduced from 50% to 35%.  The new rate will come into effect from 1 August 2006, and will apply until further notice.

The reduction will allow the existing £20m in funding to be better spread over the extended funding period until November 2008 and help to ensure there is a smooth transition to a  post-subsidy scheme.

Junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw said: “Today’s news should not come as any great surprise to farmers as our intention to cut the government subsidy has been in the public domain and on the DEFRA website since the scheme started towards the end of 2004. 

“We always envisaged this situation; it was just a question of when. There will also be further cuts in discount in the future in line with our stated approach towards a post subsidy scheme.”

The subsidy reduction will mean that a farmer who is a member of the scheme, currently paying £32 for the collection of, for example, some pigs, would, after August 1, pay £41.60 for collection.

However, the cost without the government subsidy (or for a non- member) would be £64.

As of 21 June 2006, the National Fallen Stock Scheme had 40,166 members. Payment by the farmer is made by monthly variable direct debit to the NFSCo, minus the government contribution.