MAFF denies Tory pig claims

31 August 2000

MAFF denies Tory pig claims

by Alistair Driver

THE Ministry of Agriculture has denied Tory claims that it has asked for 25 in compensation from Brussels for each pig killed under swine fever controls.

Robert Sturdy MEP, the Conservative Partys agriculture spokesman in Brussels, said compensation would be in the region of 25 for each pig.

But a MAFF spokeswoman said Mr Studys claim was misleading.

Agriculture minister Nick Brown is still discussing the level of compensation with the commission and the UK treasury, she said on Thursday (31 August).

The minister intends to make an announcement by the weekend about much money will be available to pig farmers, added the spokeswoman.

Mr Sturdy said he was sticking by his claim which, he said, came from civil servants close to European food safety commissioner David Byrne.

Mr Sturdy said he had been told by Joachim Heine, the European Commissioner in charge of state aid that 100% compensation is available.

Meanwhile, the National Pig Association (NPA) has again written to Mr Brown to express farmers anger over the issue of compensation.

The NPA wants a full payout in the region of 100 for each healthy overweight pig stuck on farms because of swine fever movement restrictions.

John Godfrey, NPA chairman, estimates that 40,000 pigs a week have been building up on farms since the restrictions were introduced three weeks ago.

He said: There is incomprehension and real anger that the Government is not yet in a position to offer full compensation.

Mr Godfrey said producers unable to move pigs were under greater pressure each day and incensed they are in this position through no fault of their own.

Healthy pigs have become unmarketable because of movement restrictions operation and significant numbers of farmers face insolvency, said Mr Godfrey.

See more