9 November 2000
French call for ‘OTMS’ subsidy
By FWi staff
FRENCH farmers have called for subsidies to prevent cattle born before mid-1996 entering the food chain, reports the Financial Times.
That would be similar to the UK Over Thirty Months Scheme and it is estimated it would cost the French government an estimated 1.8 billionn.
Until July 1996, animal waste was used in cattle feed, with only limited controls to prevent BSE infecting humans, says the newspaper.
This move comes in the face of more cases of BSE in France and the failure of government to protect public from contaminated meat.
It is reported that infected cattle had been fed feed containing cattle parts intended for pigs or poultry.
National Farmers Union president Ben Gill said the French proposals showed the “hypocrisy” of the Frances ban on British beef.
The 1996 cut off “shows that underneath they recognise the validity of what we have done in Britain,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.
“It underlines the absolute nonsense of their continued ban on their import of British beef into France,” he said.
But he said it was vital that consumer confidence was restored or the crisis could lead to a knock-on effect affecting beef sales elsewhere.