5 October 2001


uSTATE aid worth k29m (£18m) for Austria and k5.1m (£3.1m) for Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany has been approved by Brussels in relation to BSE measures. The Austrian package is to compensate farmers who have lost stock, for BSE test costs and for the disposal of banned animal feed. The German scheme is straight income aid for beef farmers.

uBRUSSELS is investigating three Italian state aid schemes which it believes contravene EU rules. The first, worth k119m (£74m), is to help farmers with the cost of insuring their co-ops against insolvency. Another investigation is into a scheme for rescuing companies in difficulty, while the third is for taxes on imported goods with the proceeds used for R&D.

uABOUT 50 French farmers have blockaded a store at Lieuron in north-west France which has been listed to take in up to 15,000t of unwanted meat and bonemeal. The demonstrators claimed the disused grain bins were not suitable. Finding sites for MBM waiting to be destroyed has been a major problem since it was banned throughout the EU early this year.

uSWEDISH farmers have effectively been barred from using Belgian Blue bull semen, after a recent court decision, reports Agra Europe. The problem is that, even thought the breed is sanctioned by the EU, Swedish vets have refused to assist in breeding operations on animal welfare grounds. The court said it could not force them to be present. &#42

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