15 October 1998
Concern about end of calf processing scheme
THE end of the calf processing scheme will cause additional hardship to farmers, claims the National Beef Association (NBA).
The NBA has called on the government to accept that the market cannot withstand the impact of total withdrawal of the scheme which pays farmers about £78 a head for male calves.
NBA officials argue that a half-way house payment of £30 would encourage breeders to surrender their poorest animals but still give rearers a chance to buy calves at a reasonable price.
Robert Forster, NBA chief executive, said the calf market would find it difficult to move overnight from absorbing just 800 calves a week to around 5,000.
The calf-processing scheme was introduced to provide an outlet for young calves when the market collapsed in the wake of the BSE crisis.