09 September 1999
English could miss farm aid

FARM ministers in Scotland and Wales could offer emergency aid to livestock producers, even though support has already been ruled out for farmers in England.

Agriculture minister Nick Brown said yesterday there was no state aid available for farmers hit by the recent collapse in livestock prices.

He later pulled out of a meeting with the key policy committee of the National Farmers Union of England and Wales in London.

But Mr Browns counterparts in Scotland and Wales said they could consider acting independently if UK-wide assistance was not made available.

The government is considering possible measures to help farmers and expects to consider a report being prepared next week.

Any measures to help farmers would have to be agreed with the European Commission.