24 April 2001
Pig farmers welcome top-up loan

By FWi staff

PIG farmers have welcomed a government decision to grant an interest-free 3.8m loan to speed up payments to farmers affected by classical swine fever

This loan will enable the Intervention Board to process top-up payments under the Pig Welfare Disposal Scheme.

The scheme was introduced during last summers swine fever outbreak in East Anglia to ease overcrowding on farms hit by movement restrictions.

A 20p levy per pig slaughtered was due to cover the industry contribution towards this, but this looks set to be delayed until July.

But fears that producers would face a long wait until the required total was achieved have been removed with the announcement of the government loan.

National Pig Association chairman James Black said: “Payments will now go to those pig producers who were badly affected financially by the movement restrictions during last years outbreak.”

The legislative procedure for raising the levy — the Pig Industry Development Scheme (PIDS) — became law on 14 March.

PIDS chairman John Godfrey said: “I am pleased with this major step forward which will allow many pig producers in East Anglia to get these desperately-needed payments as soon as possible.

Mr Black questioned why producers in the Pig Welfare Disposal Scheme have had to wait up to eight months for these funds.

In contrast, arrangements for the foot-and-mouth Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme crisis mean full payments will be paid immediately, he said.

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