16 November 2001

Feed scheme starts

producers in the north-east are set to benefit from a new service to combat foot-and-mouth related winter feeding and housing problems.

Set up by the regional DEFRA office in Newcastle, the Winter Feed Appeal aims to become a brokering and advice service. Producers with surplus feed or spare buildings can register with the Rural Development Agencys regional contact service, where staff will try to put them in touch with over-stocked producers.

"Our role is purely to put people in touch with each other," says rural economy adviser Andrew Suddes.

The service will continue indefinitely, depending on demand (0845-6015056). &#42