Archive Article: 2000/10/20

20 October 2000

&#8226 AN investigation has been launched by the Irish authorities into an incident in which seven cattle died when a lorry overturned on a ship crossing from Rosslare to Brest in northern France. The MV Francoise had only been approved for carrying live animals a month ago, though this licence has now been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry.

&#8226 A SOLUTION to the commissions long-running battle with the US over beef hormones is in the offing, with US cattle ranchers calling for improved access to the EU market for their hormone-free product. Currently the EU imposes a 20% tariff on imports of up to 11,500t a year. The cattlemen want this tariff waived as part of a compromise package.

&#8226 DUTCH farmers are quitting the industry at an unprecedented rate, according to government figures, with mixed and intensive farms setting the pace. About 4000 farmers have quit in the 12 months to April, compared with less than 3000 the year before. There are now fewer than 100,000 farms in the Netherlands.

&#8226 FEMALE farmers from throughout the Europe gathered in Brussels last weekend to celebrate the International Day of Rural Women. EU farmers body, COPA, likened their contribution to the "roots of plants and trees" – often invisible, but crucially important. "Women farmers are the driving power of rural society," it said. "They consolidate dialogue with consumers and are a connecting link with new technologies." &#42

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