13 September 1999
Farmer threatens to sue government

A SCOTTISH sheep farmer is threatening to take the government to court over the costs of slaughtering sheep.

John Warmerdam, who owns 250 sheep on his Lochgilphead farm, says post BSE-crisis rules on removing offal mean slaughtering sheep is prohibitively expensive.

Mr Warmerdam claims the governments position on subsidising the cost contravenes European Union trading rules and disadvantages farmers.

Slaugherhouse charges were subsidised by the government in the first year after the BSE crisis, at a cost of £160m, but now farmers have to pay the £14-a-head fee.

The government is currently undecided on how to tackle the problem.