Pig promises for UKindustry from Brown
FARM minister Nick Brown says he is on the verge of obtaining EU clearance for a restructuring scheme for the UK pig industry that could help East Anglian farmers hit by the swine fever outbreak.
In a visit to the region on Wed (Nov 15), he promised to do all he could to help pig farmers affected.
Mr Brown, who has been criticised for not visiting the region earlier, said the restructuring scheme could help farmers who want to continue in the industry and those who want to get out.
He also pledged to help get arrangements for a new industry levy into place and to see if there was some way of getting money "up front" to help those in most need.
Consultation began this week on a proposal to introduce a 20p levy on pigs for a fund to help the East Anglian farmers and to prepare the industry for future crises.
National Pig Association vice-chairman James Black, who met Mr Brown, said there was cautious optimism that he could help "bridge the time gap" between setting up the levy and funds becoming available.
"The big issue is how people deal with bridging the gap between what theyre getting from the new welfare disposal scheme and the value of the stock," he said.