MLC issues ewe disposal scheme call
THE Meat and Livestock Commissions sheep strategy council has written to farm minister Nick Brown and his Scottish and Welsh counterparts, Ross Finnie and Christine Gwyther, calling for urgent discussions about the possibility of introducing a ewe disposal scheme.
The government has already rejected any scheme that would involve farmers being paid for cull ewes because, it maintains, that would be illegal under EU state aid rules.
Speaking after the strategy council meeting last week, MLC chairman Don Curry said the letters to the ministers highlighted the need for action.
As well as tackling the glut of cull ewes, the MLC stressed the need for private storage aid to be introduced for lamb.
But Mr Curry continues to insist that the commission will not suspend levies on cull ewes. To do that would need a change in legislation and would mean an end to all promotional activity, research, and advice until at least the end of the year.
According to MAFF, the only option being considered by ministers was the introduction of private storage aid. But no decisions had been taken. *