19 December 1997


&#8226 AN NFU working party, headed by national potato committee chairman Richard Watson Jones, has been established to address not only how to attract younger members to the union, but also how to get existing members more involved in the organisation.

&#8226 FARMERS can take advantage of a preferential finance scheme from Nat West to help them meet the cost of complying with mandatory and voluntary environmental regulations. The green scheme, linked to the banks Farm Development Loan, will help farmers with legislation covering animal welfare, waste disposal, countryside stewardship, water storage and conservation, and organic conversion.

&#8226 AN overnight BSE-test for slaughtered cattle, developed by a Swiss firm, could be launched commercially early next year.

And Bruno Oesch, a partner in the firm Prionics AG, added that a similarly fast test for live animals, based on blood samples, was also in the pipeline.

MAFF is understood to be studying the Swiss research.n

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