07 May 1998
Calf Processing Aid Scheme faces abrupt end
THE Calf Processing Aid Scheme could be wound up by 30 November, leaving the beef industry with the problem of what to do with the million or so bull calves born between now and 2000.
The scheme was introduced in the UK immediately after the eruption of the BSE crisis and adopted on a European Union (EU)-wide basis in November 1996.
EU rules demand that the compulsory phase of the schemes operation be reviewed after two years.
It is believed the Government is keen to terminate the scheme for a number of reasons. One of the schemes biggest opponents is the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers. Its members would like to see the scheme abandoned in a bid to slow beef imports, which already total 250,000 tonnes a year AND are tipped to rise further in 1999 once local supplies are further diminished.
However, the Meat and Livestock Commission fears that the price of bull calves would drop from the subsidised rate of £78 to about £40 if the scheme were abolished.
- The Scotsman 07/05/98 page 28