08 August 1997
Dutch clash over swine fever measures
THE Dutch ministry of agriculture and the countrys main agricultural association LTO are at loggerheads over plans to put the highly intensive pig sector into better long-term shape.
Farm minister Jozias van Aartsen plans to introduce several new measures including cutting the number of animals produced by 25%. He envisages a quota system comparable to that for dairy cattle.
The nation has been plagued by an epidemic of swine fever. That, together with an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Taiwan, has made worldwide pig prices volatile.
The LTO denounced the measures, including proposals that farmers should increasingly bear the financial consequences of outbreaks of disease. It called the measures “out of all proportion and counter-productive”.