NFU on warpath over end of BSE rendering aid
THE National Farmers Union is on the attack over government plans to end the aid payments that helped the rendering industry cope with the beef crisis.
The Conservative government introduced temporary compensation to renderers in March last year after it banned meat and bonemeal from all farm animal feed. The government stepped in to help after the ban left meat, bonemeal and tallow without a market. Dr Jack Cunningham, agriculture minister, has decided to phase out the scheme, with payments ending next March, despite the fact that there is still no market for the by-products.
NFU policy director Ian Gardiner says the beef distribution chain will bear the full cost of the change, which means farmers will bear the cost too. Government aid to the rendering industry was £87m in 1996-97 and is budgeted at £59m this financial year.