uBRUSSELS is clawing back almost k143m (£87m) in misspent funds from member states, incorrectly paid out by national governments to farmers and agri-businesses. The worst culprit in this latest audit is Greece, which has to pay back k107m (£65m) for olive oil and livestock fraud. Spain also has to cough up k24m (£15m).
uPEDIGREE sheep breeders are being encouraged to participate in a ram genotyping scheme as part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs scrapie eradication programme. DEFRA wants to hear from farmers interested in the first phase of the National Scrapie Plan so it can send out personalised application forms. It intends to start blood testing animals for genotyping to help build genetic resistance into the national flock later this year.
uCLASSICAL swine fever continues to spread in northern Spain, with 18 outbreaks reported. In response, the EU Commission has extended the number of regions banned from exporting pigs or pig products until the end of the month. Germany this week reported its second case of the highly infectious disease in Lower Saxony.
uAN initiative aimed at recognising successful farm diversification in Wales has been launched by the Country Land and Business Association. The winner of the Rural Business Challenge will receive £500 and £5000 of professional advice. Closing date for entries is February 2002. *