DEFRA reveals plan to reimburse snow-hit farms

DEFRA has revealed how it plans to reimburse farmers in England for the cost of collecting sheep that died in March’s severe weather.

The National Fallen Stock Company (NFSCo) will administer the £250,000 scheme, but farmers do not need to be members of the NFSCo to apply for support.

Farmers who had fallen sheep collected between 1 April 2013 and 15 May 2013 inclusive may be eligible for up to 75% of the actual cost paid for collection.

A DEFRA official said the department had worked closely with the NFU to determine the worst-hit areas and used Met Office data on snowfall to map where the snow was deepest.

Farms in the specified postcodes will be eligible for the scheme.

The official added members of the NFSCo needed to do nothing at this stage in order to apply. “The NFSCo will contact members in July to inform them how much money they can expect to receive.”

Farmers who are not NFSCo members, or have used collection companies not registered with NFSCo, can still claim. They will need to submit an application to NFSCo by 30 June 2013.

NFU chief livestock adviser Pete Garbutt said: “A limited amount of money is available so we need to make sure it is spent in the best way and targeted at those businesses worst affected.

“The money will provide some relief for livestock farmers who suffered severe losses in the worst early spring that some have ever known.

“The £250,000 pot is nothing like the funds that have been made available in other parts of the country. But it is a contribution that will be welcomed by farmers.”

More information is available on the NFSCO website.

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