27 July 2001

NFUalleges F&Mirregularity

on Mar 22 that the rates would apply for two months.

NFU president Ben Gill said: "Our legal advice is that we have a clear case because of this broken commitment. For the majority of farmers, entering their animals into this scheme was a last resort. They should not be penalised for their decision purely because [MAFF] decided to move the goal posts."

Mr Gill added: "It is unfortunate that we have been forced to take action over this, but our members have already been to hell and back at the hands of this disease and it would be wrong to ignore this clear case of discrimination."

Backlog

The NFU believes hundreds of farmers lost out as a result of the decision to cut payment rates at a time when there was a backlog of more than 700,000 animals waiting to enter the scheme.

Payments for new season lambs dropped by £10 to £32 per animal, cattle up to 30 months dropped from 80p/kg to 65p/kg. The rate for sows dropped from £75 to £30 a head. &#42

THE NFU has filed legal papers at the High Court in London claiming that the government prematurely cut compensation rates to farmers for animals slaughtered on welfare grounds because of foot-and-mouth.

The union wants a judicial review of the governments overnight decision on 26 April to cut compensation paid for animals entered into the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme.

Claimed agreement

It claims that the now defunct Ministry of Agriculture had agreed when the scheme was introduced on Mar 22 that the rates would apply for two months.

NFU president Ben Gill said: "Our legal advice is that we have a clear case because of this broken commitment. For the majority of farmers, entering their animals into this scheme was a last resort. They should not be penalised for their decision purely because [MAFF] decided to move the goal posts."

Mr Gill added: "It is unfortunate that we have been forced to take action over this, but our members have already been to hell and back at the hands of this disease and it would be wrong to ignore this clear case of discrimination."

Backlog

The NFU believes hundreds of farmers lost out as a result of the decision to cut payment rates at a time when there was a backlog of more than 700,000 animals waiting to enter the scheme.

Payments for new season lambs dropped by £10 to £32 per animal, cattle up to 30 months dropped from 80p/kg to 65p/kg. The rate for sows dropped from £75 to £30 a head. &#42