28 April 2000
End of OTMS limit delayed again
By FWi staff
A DECISION on whether to lift the weight limit on animals entering the Over Thirty Months Scheme has been delayed again.
Brussels cancelled a meeting of the European Union beef management committee which was due to decide on the matter on Friday (28 April).
The decision means that the UK governments request for the to lift the 560kg limit on animals entering the OTMS scheme has suffered yet another set-back.
Many farmers have criticised the weight limit because it restricts the compensation they receive for older cattle under anti-BSE measures.
Tony Blair announced that the government would apply removal of the limit during the Downing Street summit with farm leaders last month.
He unveiled the proposal as part of the governments 200 million aid package aimed at helping Britains beleaguered livestock producers.
Farmers welcomed the idea and had hoped that the lifting of the OTMS limit could have come into effect by the middle of May.
But such a move is unlikely because that is the date set for the beef management committees next meeting.