6 December 1996

Beef aid ready to take claims

BEEF producers who sold finished cattle for human consumption between July 1 and Sept 30 can now apply for a share of the £29m beef support package announced by government in October.

In addition, farm minister Douglas Hogg has said that claims can also be submitted by producers who slaughtered finished cattle between Mar 20 and Sept 30, for sale through their own wholesale or retail butchery business.

In both cases producers must have owned the cattle before Mar 20 when the beef crisis began. Claim forms, which are being sent to all cattle farmers in the UK, must be returned by Jan 8, 1997.

Mr Hogg said that payments would be on a flat rate headage basis. "The rate will be set as soon as the number of claims have been determined, but we estimate that it will be in the region of £55 per head," he added. Government previously paid £66.76 a head for clean cattle sold between Mar 20 and June 30. &#42