• IN the past two years, 74 slaughterhouses in the UK have gone out of business. In a parliamentary written answer, junior farm minister Lord Donoughue said: "A total of 55 slaughterhouse licences (red meat and poultry) were revoked in England during the last two years because they had ceased operating. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the totals are eight, seven and four respectively."
• THE government has no plans to merge MAFF with the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions to form a single rural affairs ministry, following the establishment of the Food Standards Agency, junior farm minister Lord Donoughue said in a parliamentary answer.
• THE maximum compensation paid to cattle producers for brucellosis infected cattle will be £531 a head during April.
The amount of compensation is set at either 75% of the animals market value or 125% of the average monthly market price two months before valuation. *