DETAILS OF a pay-as-you-go national fallen stock collection scheme have been announced by the National Fallen Stock Company.

The company hopes the scheme, which still needs EU approval, will be up and running in the autumn.

Michael Seals, chairman of the NFSC‘s board, said all sizes and types of livestock units would be able to use the scheme on payment of an annual registration fee of around £25.

After paying this fee, farmers will gain access to a list of collectors in their area and their service charges. Farmers will then be able to pick their preferred collector.

Farmers will pay the costs of collection, which will be subsidised for the first three years of the scheme using government funds, by direct debit to the NFSC.

The direct debit will be variable so it can be altered depending on the number of animals collected.

Collectors will need to comply with strict biosecurity conditions laid down by the company.

“I am pleased to say that we have received support from the major livestock organisations throughout the UK for this approach,” said Mr Seals.

“Much work needs to be done between now and when the scheme is due to start in the autumn and we know that we will also need to convince the European Commission that the scheme will comply with state aid rules.

“However, with continued goodwill and co-operation of government and industry we are confident this can be achieved.”

Junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw said he was pleased at the progress the board had made in delivering a workable scheme.

“The government remains committed to funding the scheme as previously announced and we look forward to delivery of a successful scheme this autumn.”