By Poultry World staff

MINISTRY officials got no firm promise of help from Brussels when they tackled the EU Commission over spent hen prices at their monthly meeting in March.

The EU officials had already prepared a document in response which cited various facts and figures, the unspoken message of which was “its all your fault”.

The EU paper pointed out that egg production and layer placings in 97 and the first quarter of 98 rose faster in the UK than the EU average; that the same held true for broiler production; and that spent hen prices on the rest of the Continent at the start of March were at a satisfactory level.

The Ministry had earlier tabled a paper of its own which said that the traditional market for the disposal of spent hens was in rapid decline. Some processors had no storage space up to the year 2000, said MAFF, and one producer had actually been quoted a cost of 50p a hen to catch, kill and dispose.

The situation remains under review by both sides.

  • For this and other stories, see Poultry World, 3-30 April, 1998

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