5 September 2000
Producers asked for 20p swine levy

By FWi staff

BRITISH pig farmers are being asked to put their hands into their pockets to help East Anglian producers affected by swine fever.

After a meeting with farm minister Nick Brown on Monday (04 Sep) night the National Pig Association asked farmers to pay 20p per pig to aid colleagues in surveillance zones.

The NPA hopes this action will persuade the government to come up with more compensation for farmers whose stock is subject to restriction orders.

Last week the government enraged pig farmers by offering 35 per pig compensation for animals in surveillance zones slaughtered for welfare reasons.

The NPA argues that value and costs mean farmers should have been offered 100 per animal.

Stewart Houston of the NPA rejected claims that his group was asking hard-pressed producers for too much. “Were asking for 20p per pig, not per kilo,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.

“The East Anglians are in terrible trouble they represent a significant part of our herd.

“I think producers will rally and help on the basis it could easily have happened to them.”

“The East Anglians have paid the price for containing the disease and it not spreading to other parts of the country.”

Mr Houston said commitment from the producers would help Mr Brown make better representations to the Treasury and the European Commission to raise the amount of money he has on offer.

Meanwhile, the discovery of a new case of swine fever on a farm at Topcroft, south Norfolk, mean restrictions could remain well into October, reports The Guardian.

Several neighbouring farms which had escaped bans on movement will now come under restrictions.

Mr Houston warned there could be more cases of the disease as it was at a critical stage of the incubation.

The veterinary committee of Europe meets on Tuesday (05 Sep) to review its ban of the export of live pigs and semen from East Anglia.