10 July 2001
Free advice for cull farmers
By FWi staff
SEMINARS backed up by business advice are being offered to farmers who lost stock in foot-and-mouth culling, under a new government programme.
Invitations are being sent out over the next weeks to farmers from the 7500-plus holdings where animals were slaughtered to help control the disease.
These are being organised by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs rural development service.
And when cleaning and disinfection has been completed, farmers will then be eligible for up to five days of free business advice.
The aim will be to enable farmers to look at all the options for re-shaping their businesses when they re-stock, says DEFRA.
Junior DEFRA minister Lord Whitty said: “The aim of this programme is to enable those farmers whose animals have been culled to fight back.”
He said farmers who are considering re-modelling their businesses could be assisted by DEFRA environmental and rural development schemes.
Where large numbers of holdings were culled, group activity, such as marketing, environmental management or resource sharing should be considered.
Lord Whitty stressed that environmental impact should be a prime consideration for farmers deciding how to restructure their businesses.
“In many cases environmental considerations will play an important role in determining eligibility for further support,” he emphasised.
Some 10.4 million has been made available to provide up to five days of advice to farmers whose stock has been compulsorily slaughtered.
This will include a review of the business, and arranging an environmental evaluation to be conducted by an appropriate specialist.
Advice will also be offered on diversification, support measures, and restocking and agronomic issues.
It is expected that the first visits will take place in late July or early August.
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