By FWi staff

UK DEMAND for animal feed will continue to dramatically decrease in the wake of the BSE crisis, delegates at an Agra-Europe conference in Brussels heard yesterday.

Sales of processed animal feed slumped by 14.5% in the 12 months to June 1997, according to Sotiris Papasolomontos, technical and marketing director of Dalgety Agriculture.

But Mr Papasolomontos forecast that demand would fall by a further 7.5% in the 12 months to June 1998. The slump will threaten jobs and profits within the feed industry for some time to come, he warned.

“Undoubtedly further mill closures and rationalisation are inevitable,” Mr Papasolomontos said.

Dalgety first announced in September that it expected to shed 200 jobs to offset reduced demand for animal feed. The companys agricultural supplies division made a trading loss of £200,000 in 1996/97 on sales of £1.24 billion.